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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
RBSProds "rbsprods" (Deep in the heart of Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Vivaldi: New Discoveries II (Audio CD)
Five BAROQUE Stars! Rousing, elegant premier performances of Antonio Vivaldi pieces that were lost for 3 centuries! This recording is under the leadership of the multi-talented composer, conductor, flautist, and musicologist Federico Maria Sardelli, performing with his Baroque orchestra 'Modo Antiquo' and an all-star cast including Swedish mezzo-soprano Ann Hallenberg, violinist Anton Steck, and flautist Alexis Kissenko. The impressive French recording company Naïve Records, which defines its Vivaldi CD line with unique 'head shot' jewel box cover photos, continues to produce more discoveries from the pen of Antonio Vivaldi using the best Baroque musicians and singers. In addition to the aforementioned "a violin concerto, a flute concerto and 4 opera arias from L'inganno trionfante in amore", Signor Sardelli has included a 4- and 3-movement violin sonata, plus an additional aria to the proceedings: enough to gladden the heart of any Vivaldi fan. All excellent performances, each piece takes its place in the Vivaldi lineage after 300 years of 'dormancy', as it were, especially the swirling virtuosic beauty of Kissenko's flute Concerto in D minor "Il Gran Mogol" RV 431a, dedicated to India; the beauty of the "Ipermestra, RV722: Act I, scene I" Aria "Vaghe luci, luci belle" aria with its daunting rhythmic shifts, wonderfully negotiated by Hallenberg and Modo Antiquo; and the Violin Sonata in D major, RV 816 featuring Steck's wonderful bow work. Bravura performances! The Red Priest himself might have been amazed that the bulk of his compositions would be lost and then discovered piece by piece in the 20th and 21st centuries to such acclaim. My Highest Recommendation. Five ELEGANT Stars! (This review is based on an mp3 download of 18 tracks; Time 58 min: 11 sec)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vivaldi - new arrivals, 24 Dec. 2012
Jon Chambers (Birmingham, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Vivaldi: New Discoveries II (Audio CD)
Once again, Naive are able to release a CD compilation of 'new' Vivaldi more than 270 years after his death - an achievement made possible by the indefatigable efforts of Vivaldi scholars as well as to the inexhaustible pen of the composer.

New Discoveries 1 (2009) was a real revelation, offering a cornucopia of genres, instrumentation and styles. This second edition of new Vivaldi (2012) is less varied, with soprano arias and violin works predominating, but it too possesses some gems. The flute concerto, 'Il Grosso Mogul' RV431a, has actually been recorded before, and admirably so, by Serenissima. Its new designation, RV431a, does not denote that it is a variant, as is usually case. It is, in fact, the complete version of the concerto. The middle movement had been presumed lost until it was discovered in Scotland. By one of those wonderful coincidences, I had been reading a book on Vivaldi's music for flute during the year of its discovery and first learned of the four missing concertos there. I remember wondering what the chances were of them ever coming to light. And here is one of the four! The outer movements are fairly well known, but the middle movement is arguably the most beautiful, and it is also the one that explains its nickname. Suggestions of the east are intimated by the evocative and expressive playing of Alexis Kossenko.

The violin sonatas, recently showcased on Radio 3, are highly engaging. As with the violin sonata in the previous collection of new discoveries, the dotted rhythms of the cantabile slow movement is an especially attractive feature of RV816 in D. Then again, the simple descending motif of RV815's Largo is equally so. The works were 'discovered' when London's Foundling Museum catalogued the Gerald Coke anthology in 2010. Michael Talbot authenticated the sonatas and said that they were in all probability written for amateurs.

One advantage of the CD over the downloads is that we get to read the story of discovery. The trail extends from Belgium and Dresden to London, then Edinburgh and finally the University of Califonia at Berkeley! Frederic Delaméa holds out the prospect of more new Vivaldi to emerge from the New World, and talks enticingly of a New Discoveries 3. If the pace of discovery continues, we might expect such a volume to appear in around 2015. But surely we can't continue to expect the same quality of music. Can we?
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Vivaldi: New Discoveries II
Vivaldi: New Discoveries II by Ann Hallenberg (Audio CD - 2012)
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