Vivaldi: La cetra Op. 9

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COMPOSERS: Vivaldi
LABELS: Decca Serenata
WORKS: La cetra Op. 9
PERFORMER: Academy of St Martin in the Fields/Iona Brown
CATALOGUE NO: 433 734-2 ADD (1977)
Venetian baroque music of vibrant elegance, published in Amsterdam in 1727, La cetra (the cithara or lyre) represents, according to the Vivaldi scholar Michael Talbot, ‘the crowning achievement of [its composer’s] aspirations in the field of instrumental music’.

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Pre-Huggett and Standage, Iona Brown’s two-disc collection is a classic, combining scholarship with sentiment, restraint with temperament. With the members of the ASMF in wonderfully self-listening form, here is playing of rhythmic tension and expressive pliancy, enhanced by an evocatively bloomed (St John’s, Smith Square) acoustic. Unalloyed pleasure and essential refreshment for ears jaded by The Four Seasons. Ates Orga