Antonio VIVALDI(1678-1741)Recorder Concertos
Flute Concerto, Op. 10 No. 1 in F major, RV 433 'La tempesta
di mare' [6:31]
Concerto in A minor RV 445 [9:46]
Recorder Concerto in C minor, RV441 [10:29]
Flute Concerto, Op. 10 No. 3 in D major, RV 428 'Il gardellino'
Flute Concerto, Op. 10 No. 2 in G minor, RV 439 'La notte'
Flautino Concerto in C major, RV443 [11:23] George Frideric HANDEL(1685-1759)Recorder Sonatas
Sonata in G major, Op. 1, No. 5 [7:55]
Sonata in G minor for recorder and continuo, HWV360, Op. 1 No. 2
Sonata in C major for recorder and continuo, HWV365, Op. 1 No. 7
Keyboard Suite, HWV 430 in E major 'The Harmonious Blacksmith'
Flute Sonata in D major, HWV 378 [6:46]
Sonata in F major for recorder and continuo, HWV369, Op. 1 No. 11
Sonata in D minor for recorder and continuo, HWV367a, Op. 1 No.
9a 'Fitzwilliam III' [9:11]
Piers Adams (recorders) with
Musica da Camera in Vivaldi
Howard Beach (harpsichord and organ); David Watkin (cello) in Handel
rec. November 1988, Radley College, Abingdon (Vivaldi) and November
1989 St Dunstan’s Church, Cheam (Handel)
RED PRIEST RP008 [56:40 + 59:13]
In the Vivaldi the small band of Musica da Camera contains some
luminaries of the Early Music scene: Roy Goodman, who leads,
fellow violinist Miles Golding, violist Jane Compton, cellist
Jane Coe, double bassist Many MacNamara and Robert King at the
harpsichord and organ
Adams plays three sopranino recorders and three treble, sensibly
alternating them during the programme. Adams is a virtuosic
performer, bringing zest to the outer movements and especial
vitality to the Presto finale of La Tempesta di Mare,
one of Vivaldi’s best known concertos. His avian sopranino trills
gracefully in the opening of the Concerto in A, RV445, and on
the treble he deals splendidly with the tricky divisions in
opening Allegro. This concerto’s spare declamation in its Largo
is another high point. Referring earlier to the avian aspects
of the sopranino writing, one arrives at the Concerto in D major,
RV428 with particular expectation. This is the Goldfinch (‘Il
Gardellino’) concerto and a performer has to characterise
the bird’s fluting, fluttering, and trilling luminescence if
the concerto is to truly come across. That Adams certainly does.
So, too, does he convey the bird’s more pleading aspects in
the concerto’s finale. La Notte for treble recording
– it’s the Concerto in G minor, RV439 – was re-recorded by Adams
as a member of Red Priest a number of years later, but this
earlier version, far more sedate and less hallucinatory than
that later one, has a classical poise to it.
The companion Handel sonatas disc happily balances the contemporaries
in concerto and chamber music. Here Adams sports descant and
treble recorders as well as voice flute. The Sonata in G major
Op1 No.5 was arranged from the Flute original and survives this
practical work well. Tempi throughout are sensible and Adams’
colleagues – Howard Beach, harpsichord and organ, and David
Watkins, cello – are happily supportive collaborators. Sometimes
one worries about over-decoration. The Sonata in D major, HWV378
for voice flute is a case in point, though the finale is rightly
buoyant. The recording isn’t desperately well-balanced and despite
their best intentions Beach’s harpsichord playing is sometimes
too distant, emerging a bit wishy-washy. That’s a shame, though
not fatal to enjoyment.
The coupling is not wholly apt, if forced to confront the point,
and yet not completely unapt.
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