Vivaldi: C minor Concerto for recorder; Alla rustica

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LABELS: Challenge
WORKS: C minor Concerto for recorder; Alla rustica
PERFORMER: Peter Holtslag (recorder), Jed Wentz, Marion Moonen (flute), Manfred Kraemer (violin), Balázs Máté (cello); Musica ad Rhenum
CATALOGUE NO: CC 72044 Reissue (1992)
This disc must hold some kind of record for label-hopping. In the space of ten years its contents have appeared on no fewer than four. The programme is the earlier of two by Musica ad Rhenum featuring Vivaldi concertos for various instrumental combinations. Director Jed Wentz is himself a flautist of sensibility and his performance of the celebrated Il gardellino (Goldfinch) is diverting. A C minor Concerto for treble recorder is, however, of greater musical substance and is played with virtuosity and panache by Peter Holtslag. The remaining concertos, including one for violin, one for cello and the much favoured Alla rustica for strings, come over with comparable authority, but I confess to finding some of Wentz’s tempi unconvincingly brisk. The opening movement of the Alla rustica is a case in point, though slow movements generally suffer more. Brilliant the playing may be but the result is breathless and charmless, too. Nicholas Anderson