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on 3 November 2008
From the first notes of the first concerto, it is easy to tell that the playing is going to sparkle. Manze and the Academy of Ancient music are on top form, enthusing the music with warm and virtuosity. The result is immensely satisfying to listen to. And Gramophone Magazine has a similar, if more informed, opinion: "I seem never to tire of these endlessly charming works and it is this set that perhaps contains Albinoni's crowning achievement in the concerto sphere, a lyrical Adagio for solo oboe with a simple string arpeggio accompaniment belonging to the Second Concerto... None of this is lost either on the three accomplished soloists - Andrew Manze, Frank de Bruine and Alfredo Bernardini - or the strings of the Academy of Ancient Music which provide lively and sensitive support. In short, the set affords uninterrupted pleasure from start to finish."

There are so many good bits... but the Concerto for oboe in D minor, Op.9/2: Adagio (Track 5) is sublime. I've heard lots of recordings of this on the radio, but this is the one that stands out and makes the CD worth buying for just this 5min 30 sec! It's the smoothest, least affected version. The oboist, Frank de Bruine, manages to make the notes soar effortlessly without faltering - the result is pure relaxation to listen to.

The rest of the concertos are a delight too. Both elegant and lively, they are as good as Baroque playing gets.
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on 4 September 2010
I heard Tomaso Albinoni's music occasionally on the radio and decided to buy his famous twelve concertos for violin and oboes. They have been a revelation to me, as I was only really familar with Vivaldi, Handel and Back from the Baroque composers. To say Albinoni's music is beautiful is not enough. It is truly timeless and divine. I came home after a hard work's week, stressed, tired and put Albinoni on. Suddenly a sense of peace descended on me, I felt as if for a while I was able to detach myself from my body and fly somewhere up to the sky from where I looked down on myself, and our world, the majestic notes gently caressed my ears, my whole soul was moved. All our problems, our lives's woes and little conflicts became utterly irrelevant. I would not call myself a classical music buff and listen to a wide variety from rock, grunge and electronica to latin, pop and even country and folk. But Albinoni is really accessible to absolutely anyone anywhere, his music transcends trends, styles and time. It speaks universal language of the human soul. Shivers went down my spine and I sat there in total disbelief at the amazing sounds playing on my CD player. My whole being was moved to the core. I have made a good friend in Albinoni and will treasure his company from now on. Am looking forward to the London bike Skyride tomorrow with Albinoni on my ipod.
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This is a really good double CD of some of Albinoni's best music, very well performed by the invariably excellent Academy of Ancient Music under Christopher Hogwood.

This is rather underrated music, I think. It's certainly much more than the pleasant baroque wallpaper which many people think Albinoni to be. The adagio of Op.9 No.2, for example, is one of the loveliest movements I know in a baroque concerto. These are very fine performances, too, which bring out the verve, joy and sheer beauty of these concertos. Andrew Manze is always brilliant, but the oboists are also excellent. Frank de Bruine in particular has a lovely, flowing, effortless sound and I find that I prefer this set to my old CM90/Standage set with Anthony Robson, who by comparison seems a little plodding in his articulation and phrasing.

It isn't surprising that Andrew Manze and Christopher Hogwood, two real giants of Baroque performance, should bring something special to these concerti and the playing of Frank de Bruine is a real bonus. It's a lovely set and very warmly recommended
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VINE VOICEon 13 March 2011
Albinoni was a contemporary of Vivaldi, and upon first hearing, some of the allegro's here put one in mind of Vivaldi, yet upon further listening, a deeper, sometimes more reflective feel unfolds. Certainly a number of the pieces here show the unmistakeable influence of the earlier Arcangelo Corelli and are none the worse for all that; Corelli's compositional technique is believed to have been a significant influence on Bach.

There is music here which is by turns lively and stately, more or less reflecting the written form: allegro-adagio-allegro and the sonorities evoked by this ensemble are both contrasting and wonderful. The warmth of the period instrumentation is undoubtedly enhanced by the all-digital recording and the engineering and editing succeed in addressing any potential issues arising from recordings made in different locations, several years apart.

The musicianship, compositions and sound quality are first rate and this collection can be confidently recommended to anyone with a penchant for the baroque, and I would regard this set as a key acquisition for anyone starting to collect classical music. These are Venetian treats from a musically golden age.
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on 20 June 2011
Fantastic record.
Both really good for easy listening, and close listening. The Academy of Ancient Music with Hogwood, Manze, de Bruine and Bernardini really bring thes concertos to life and you can hear the vivid and fragile sound of the period instruments. Highly recommended!
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on 1 August 2005
These works are surprisingly inventive and assured. I would rate them highly within the stereotyped world of baroque music. Vastly superior to your average ( or even above average) Vivaldi concerto. Performances of the cti. for one or two oboes ( 8 from 12)could hardly be bettered. My only reservation is the violin tone in the others courtesy of Mr Manze. This is slightly astringent and demonstative for my taste although still enjoyable).
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on 10 July 2013
I've recently started listening to classical music, mainly to drown out the sound of people talking in my office and in order for me to be able to concentrate on my work, and it does the trick. It's pleasant, relaxing and very high quality classical music!
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on 18 November 2013
I bought this after having heard Albinoni's Allegro in Gmi, performed by the Berlin Phil…. (I since learned that this is a approximation of the work as the original complete manuscripts were never found. This recording is back the the Baroque style in performance and interpretation…. totally gorgeous
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on 21 September 2015
Lovely - calming, soothing. I play this often.
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on 16 November 2014
High quality recording. Just beautiful.
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