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Vivaldi - La Stravaganza CD

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Arte dei Suonatori
  • Composer: Antonio Vivaldi
  • Audio CD (24 Mar. 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Channel Classics
  • ASIN: B00008IUW2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 194,478 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Allegro
  2. Largoe e cantabile
  3. Allegro
  4. Allegro
  5. Largo
  6. Allegro
  7. Allegro
  8. Largo
  9. Allegro Assai
  10. Allegro
  11. Grave E Sempre Piano
  12. Allegro
  13. Allegro
  14. Adagio
  15. Allegro
  16. Allegro
  17. Largo
  18. Allegro

Disc: 2

  1. Largo
  2. Allegro
  3. Largo
  4. Allegro
  5. Allegro
  6. Adagio - Presto - Adagio
  7. Allegro
  8. Allegro
  9. Largo
  10. Allegro
  11. Spirituoso
  12. Adagio
  13. Allegro
  14. Allegro
  15. Largo
  16. Allegro Assai
  17. Spirituoso E Non Presto
  18. Largo
  19. Allegro

Product Description

BBC Review

Anyone who's ever entertained the idea that Vivaldi wrote the same concerto five hundred times doesn't deserve to hear this disc. But if they did, they'd be left in no doubt whatsoever as to the idiocy of that old saw; they'd also have been exposed for over an hour-and-a-half to some of the most exhilarating baroque string playing around at the moment.

Rachel Podger's fiddle-playing is never remotely routine, and often astonishing not just for sheer virtuosity, but also for the way she moulds Vivaldi's phrases, finding musical shape in even the most mundane-looking chord sequences. OK, so that 'five-hundred concertos the same' crack is contemptible, but even in a set as entertaining as La Stravaganza some concertos are more equal than others, as George Orwell might have put it. In other recordings of Vivaldi's Op. 4 you're made aware that one or two of the concertos lack inspiration alongside the brilliant invention of the rest of the set, but these performances never allow you to come to that conclusion - everything fizzes with such energy and passion you can't take your ears off it for a moment.

Podger leads the young Polish period instrument group Arte dei Suonatori from the violin, and they revel in each others company; one moment she seems to be goading them into ever more virtuosic displays and frighteningly fast tempos...the next they threaten almost to overwhelm her, to whirl her away with them in a torrent of notes, even trample her underfoot. The continuo group of archlute, guitar, theorbo and keyboard is pretty powerful, and despite the fact there's only one bass player, the way the bass line blooms and booms in the Polish church sometimes swamps the detail, but that apart its a vibrant, lively recording.

If it seems as though I've been blown away by the fast and the furious, that's only partly true. The slow movements of these twelve concertos offer some of the highlights of the set for me, some truly lovely playing and heartfelt musicality, accompanied with great sensitivity - for example try Nos 11 or 12. For the sheer genius of Vivaldi's imagination No. 8 would be a good place to start, and if you want to hear just how wickedly wild this lot can be in Vivaldi, try the finale of No. 4.

Just one warning: you might not want to listen to the whole set in one sitting. Each individual concerto has the balm of a slow movement to balance the heat of the outer movements, but when a fiery finale leads to an incendiary opening Allegro after just a few seconds break, it's like finding yourself in an Indian restaurant with a mouthful of chilli and nothing with which to damp down the fires. Mind you, I love spicy food...

Like This? Try These:

Telemann: Fantasties for Violin Solo (Rachel Podger)

JS Bach: Violin Concertos (Jaakko & Pekka Kuusisto)

Corelli: Violin Sonatas (Andrew Manze) --Andrew McGregor

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
an absolutely smashing set that, to a degree, puts to bed the theory that Vivaldi's La Stravaganza set of concertos wasn't as good as his earlier L'Estro Armonico - OK so admittedly it wasn't, but I'm not sure there's a L'Estro Armonico performance to match this new La Stravaganza for virtuosity, taste, refinement.

It's got the togetherness and sensible approach of a really good current British performer and director, with something of the elan of a good continental orchestra, with neither the over-aggressive catchiness of a Biondi nor the four-square rhythm of Hogwood or Pinnock on their vivaldian bad days.

This new recording is probably a bit better than the classic ASMF/Marriner La Stravaganza, but that's still a wonderful recording of ASMF at their absolute best. I have both of them on my shelf now, but Podger's is probably the best. This really is wonderful music.
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Format: Audio CD
A double CD of great variety and virtuosity. Podger's playing is inspired and helps to give shape and structure to these concerti. It's an electrifying performance, fizzing with excitement and passion.
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Format: Audio CD
If you're fed up with the Four Seasons, this is the CD to buy. Sumptuously recorded, seductively played, this terrific music displays Vivaldi's wide range and versatility as a composer. Its hard to imagine how these performances could be improved upon. I'm a huge fan of Rachel Podger; she's so accomplished in every respect and manages to inject life and authenticity into everything she plays. Arte dei Suonatori are a lively band, one of the crack baroque ensembles from Italy currently on the scene. The quality of the recording needs to be heard to be believed: its so vivid and immediate. For vivaldi fans, this landmark recording is undoubtedly a modern classic. 6 stars!
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