Customer Reviews


3 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enigma variations, 12 Dec. 2007
By 
Jon Chambers (Birmingham, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vivaldi: Concerti per viola d'amore (Audio CD)
There isn't a huge repertoire for the enigmatic viola d'amore and, when you consider the instrument's eccentricities, it is hardly surprising. By the late seventeenth century (ie by Vivaldi's time) it had six sympathetic strings, mounted under the fingerboard, responding to another set of six principal strings above the fingerboard. But Vivaldi, for one, was sufficiently intrigued by its possibilities to write six concerti exclusively for the viola d'amore - whose name alludes to its association with the mysterious, nocturnal and sensual.

In Fabio Biondi's new recording, the concerti come to life. His playing is energetic and engaging and, whilst Vivaldi's writing isn't uniformly inspired across the set of six, Biondi's enthusiasm and technical skill provide enough interest to reward the listener.

One of the problems faced by a collection like this is the inherent lack of variety in a series of concerti all six of which share the same fast-slow-fast structure and three of which are in the same key of D minor. All six are written in either D or A, and one of the two 'bonus' pieces, the marvellous Concerto for viola d'amore and lute (RV540) is again in D minor. Biondi manages to pull it off, and not just because of his own manner of playing - he varies pace in a thoughtful, occasionally provocative way. The disc also includes a particularly rustic-sounding chamber concerto (RV97) in which the mood is more bucolic than sensual. Pairs of horns and oboes, a bassoon and a lute introduce novel colours while the fast-slow-fast structure is discarded in favour of a slow introduction. It is a superb chamber concerto that is entirely new to me, and provides one of the real high points of the CD.

This is the third recording I've heard of these pieces - the others are by Calabrese (1993, Erato) and Lazsio Barsony (1980, Brilliant). Biondi's is by far the best, thanks mainly to the infusion of variety in the mix. The informative booklet, meanwhile, adds further to the mystique of the instrument with illustrations of Biondi's viola d'amore (attributed to the Milanese maker Giovanni Grancino, c1700). The photographs show an instrument with distinctly odd-looking sound holes and a blindfolded head substituting for the usual scroll. Like the sounds it makes on the CD, therefore, it is simultaneously exotic, beautiful and weird.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Master of a dying art, 23 Oct. 2013
By 
E. L. Wisty "World Domination League" (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Vivaldi: Concerti per viola d'amore (Audio CD)
In April 1717 Vivaldi was passing through the town of Cento in northern Italy, and was coming to play at Vespers at the Church of the Santissimo nome d'Iddio. A witness describes a packed church, with people almost coming to blows in a frantic attempt to gain entry, and crowds filling the streets outside.

They had come in droves to hear Vivaldi play the viola d'amore, an instrument which had fallen completely out of fashion. The Red Priest, though being at the forefront of musical development, was as much a master of this rather passé device as he was of the violin. The viola d'amore possessed six strings, with a further six metal strings under the fingerboard, sympathetic strings which resonated along with the playing strings, which give it a delicate and sensual sound. The aforementioned witness wrote that he had "never heard anything like it since".

There survive eight concerti for viola d'amore by Vivaldi, the first such concerti in history, all of which presented here. They span a period from as early as 1718 or thereabouts almost through through to the last year of his life - the final concerto RV540 on this disc being a double concerto for viola d'amore and lute which was performed at the Pietà in Venice in March 1740 in honour of Frederick August II, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony.

These works are more than mere curiosities, rather they stand among the finest examples of Vivaldi's oeuvre, and we are privileged to have one of the finest exponents of his work around, Fabio Bondi, recording them, playing with a skill surely worthy of the Venetian master himself.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious Vivaldi, 12 Dec. 2007
By 
This review is from: Vivaldi: Concerti per viola d'amore (Audio CD)
I read about this CD in the Daily Mail and decided to buy it and the review in the newspaper didn't do it justice. It is a magnificent recording that, on a cold, foggy December morning leaves you feeling joyous. I am not, sadly, a musical expert but I know what I like and this recording by Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante hits the button every single time.

Buy it and enjoy !
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Vivaldi: Concerti per viola d'amore
Vivaldi: Concerti per viola d'amore by Antonio Vivaldi (Audio CD - 2007)
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews