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Vivaldi: Il Cimento dell'armonia e dell'invenzione CD
|Price:||£9.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details|
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HUGGETT / KRAEMER / RAGLAN BAR
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All this aside, this four seasons performance deserves some attention. First, this cd not only has the famed four sesons, but it also has the rest of the concertos that makes up the entire published work (op.8) commonly called the 'Contest Between Harmony and Invention'. This cd not only makes for an enjoyable listening experience, but also makes for a great collector's item. Any serious classical music collector can tell anyone that cds containing full works are better as collections than cds having highlights or excerpts.
In addition, Ms. Huggett's playing style is a joy to listen. As a performer, Ms. Huggett definately does not shy away at the solo passages. On the contrary, Ms. Huggett attacks the solo parts with passion and verve as well she should. I cannot help but wonder that Vivaldi would have wanted to hear these concertos played in this manner.
Concerto no. 9 is my particular favorite in this cd. Ms. Huggett's playing gives this concerto a particular internal-fire energy that I have not ever heard before.
Definately well worth the money.
I can highly recommend Monica Huggett and Raglan Baroque's version of Vivaldi's opus 8.
( An aside on the price; many years ago when I first started work I bought the occasional 12in LP of Beethoven etc, they cost 52% of my weekly wage, this double CD cost 3% of my weekly superanuation, and that includes overseas postage. We've never had it so good ! )
With fine sound and a price that is less than many a mid-price CD of "The Four Seasons" alone, this is a great bargain for my money--or anybody's money, I'd guess.
The other concertos in the Opus 8 also display a lot of creativity, and that's probably why Vivaldi called it "The Contest Between Harmony and Invention". Although two concertos were originally written for oboe (#9 and #12), Vivaldi suggested that it could also be played on the violin. The violin versions are recorded here, while Hogwood decided to include the oboe versions in his recording of the set. Having listened to both now, I tend to say I prefer the oboe, in part because it brings a little more diversity in a set that already comprises 10 concertos for violin. But Huggett's version is dynamic and taken at a nice tempo, slightly faster than Hogwood actually.
The nice addition to this recording is the two concertos that conclude CD2. They are not part of Vivaldi's Op.8, but are from unpublished manuscripts "recently" discovered (now it's been 26 years). I did not know these concertos, so it was nice to discover them. They both are double concertos, one for violin and cello in A major, and the other for two violins in G major. It is interesting to see how Vivaldi is treating the two soloists, especially in the violin and cello concerto where the difference of timbre is used to highlight a dialogue between the two instruments. In two words, highly recommended!
This release does not contain the all-important poetry that accompanies the four seasons, which is unfortunate. Track down those words because they really enrich your experience with the music, and Huggett's performance in particular. You can hear that she was paying attention to these words, and to the specifically programmatic nature of these works. This attention to detail comes through and speaks highly of the performances throughout. The liner notes do not list the players, either, but Kraemer uses an archlute for continuo. The recording was made in 1988, and apparently was the first one to do so.
For a solid, more traditional performance, I'd recommend Pinnock and The English Concert. If you can, track down the Il Giardino Armonico performance (on Teldec), but otherwise pick up this great bargain.