WORKS: La Stravaganza, Op. 4 (excerpts)
PERFORMER: Andrew Manze (violin/director)La Stravaganza Köln
CATALOGUE NO: CO 75598 DDD
Vivaldi’s Op. 11 marks the beginning of the composer’s late style, in which he was casting a glance at the newer kind of music being produced by his younger contemporaries such as Tartini and Porpora. This ‘newer’ style meant a different kind of violin technique (Tartini) and a racier way of writing operas (Porpora). Hogwood’s performance is superb and the solo violin playing by Stanley Ritchie is marvellously sophisticated. You also get much better value (67 minutes) than with the extracts of Op. 4 with the more aggressive group from Cologne (51 minutes). In some respects, however, the actual music of Op. 4 is more typically Vivaldian and perhaps more interesting than the other set, but in these days of economic crisis I really think that 51 minutes is not enough for a CD.
The booklet notes for Hogwood’s set, by Michael Talbot, are exemplary; those for the Denon CD contain silly typographical errors and do not even tell you when Op. 4 was composed, or rather published (Amsterdam, c1712). HC Robbins Landon