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Classical - Released September 9, 2016 | Challenge Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Austrian Baroque music takes center stage in the repertoire of this unusual Baroque ensemble. The music performed at the Imperial Court in Vienna at this time was initially heavily influenced by the music of Italy, later by that of France; Spanish court ceremonial also had important artistic effects in Vienna. The typical Austrian sound of this era was characterized by the impact of its many royal domains. The political and societal boundaries of Baroque Austria stretched much further than nowadays. Elements of Slavic, Hungarian and Alpine folk music styles had lasting effects on art music, making up its specific sound. But the Austrian sound also reflects the temperament and the character of the people of the time: placed within the melting pot of many diverse cultures, amalgamating Mediterranean zest for life, Slavic melancholy, French formalism, Spanish royal ceremony and the original Alpine elements of the German-speaking period. This mixture of court music and folk music with a dance-like character outlines the typically Austrian sound. The ensemble Ars Antiqua Austria is dedicated to musicological research of Austrian Baroque composers. The abundance of rediscovered works led to several successful premiere recordings, including albums featuring the works of R. Weichlen, H.I.F. Biber, G. Arnold, F. J. Aumann, and more. In the words of conductor Gunar Letzbor: “It is almost impossible nowadays to perform Vivaldi’s music without any preconceptions, even if one engages with it only rarely. Vivaldi’s sound is ubiquitous… There is so much to discover amongst his works, away from mainstream sounds. This recording and its preparation: practicing in peace and quiet, trying out sounds, receiving and discarding ideas, taking in the texts, rediscovering melodies, and if possible, never listening to any Vivaldi recordings”. © Challenge Records
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Classical - Released July 8, 2014 | Avie Records

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Concertos - Released October 18, 2016 | New York Philharmonic

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Classical - Released August 24, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Classical - Released September 4, 2015 | Avie Records

Booklet
There are several attractions to this release by violinist Adrian Chandler and his English historical-instrument group La Serenissima. One is the presence of a pair of world premieres, which despite the size of Vivaldi's output are not as common as they used to be. These are a pair of concertos for the violin in tromba marina, an instrument so rare that one had to be reconstructed for this recording. It's a three-stringed violin, apparently an elaboration of a monochord that was intended to evoke the sound of a marine trumpet (hence the name). Vivaldi is the only composer known to have written for it, and as usual he was brilliant in making use of its capabilities, writing open chords of a kind that did not appear in any of his other compositions. You also get unusually sensitive performances of a pair of bassoon concertos by Baroque bassoonist Peter Whelan. But none of this would have mattered had the main enterprise, a recording of the much-played Four Seasons, not succeeded. The graphics blurb blandly states that the players "use characterization" to shape their reading, but that's putting it mildly. Chandler offers an explosive, high-contrast reading in the vein of the Italian school of the 2000s, and the thunderstorms and such get very exciting. He buttresses his wilder moments with reference to the sonnets Vivaldi included with the Four Seasons as a program, and these are included in the CD booklet. The performance uses a hand copy of the work, possibly relying on an earlier version that, Chandler argues, matches the sonnets more closely. The performance is a rollicking, foot-stomping affair that exuberantly breaks into heavy ornamentation at a few points, and some of this doesn't quite work. The famous center movement of the "Winter" concerto, for instance, is more of a moderate snowstorm than a silent winter landscape. The sound, recorded at the Hospital of the Cross in Winchester, UK, is a bit hollow; the location was perhaps suggested by the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice for which many of these pieces were composed, but that was not really a hospital nor even, as is often stated, an orphanage. These are the only complaints, though, about a very fine outing from a fast-rising British band. © TiVo
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Classical - Released December 1, 2014 | Alia Vox

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Classical - Released August 17, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | Claves Records

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Classical - Released June 1, 2006 | Onyx Classics

To the time-honored categories of mainstream and historically informed performances of Baroque works we now must add a third. More and more often, performers who've become famous in traditional Classical-Romantic repertory are venturing not only into music of the Baroque, but also of Baroque bows, A-415 tunings, gut strings, ornamentation treatises, and all the other details with which modern players try to approximate a Baroque sound world. Even Yo-Yo Ma has hit the sales charts by teaming with Ton Koopman for a couple of volumes of Vivaldi's music, and now the adventurous Russian-born violinist Viktoria Mullova is out with a Vivaldi concerto disc of her own. Does Viktoria Mullova "get it"? The answer generally is yes. She passes the first test with Vivaldi, which is to realize that there's no reason to record the same handful of concertos over again; the Vivaldi catalog is full of marvels ready for wider exposure. Mullova offers five concertos here (for a rather parsimonious 53 minutes of music in total), including the Concerto in B minor for four violins, RV 580, very familiar especially in its four-harpsichord arrangement by Bach, but also including the little-recorded "Grosso Mogul" Concerto in D major, RV 208. The title of this work refers to an Indian potentate, but the reason for the designation is unknown. There is no hint of Indian influence, but whatever the occasion was, it called forth from Vivaldi a prime specimen of his big, spacious idiom, easily construed as royal. The violin part taxes any player, but Mullova, playing a 1723 Stradivarius with a Baroque bow, spins out long, shimmering threads from even the roughest passages. Throughout, her style is precise, exacting, marked by notable endurance, and a bit severe, just like her picture on the cover. Another remarkable piece is the abrupt miniature Concerto in D major, RV 234, known as "L'Inquietudine," "unease." Mullova's edgy sound works perfectly here. She is backed by Il Giardino Armonico, an orchestra of period-instrument players. Onyx's sound doesn't match up to the recording feats that other European labels -- Naïve, Alpha, MDG -- accomplished around the same time; Mullova's violin has a bit of a tendency to get lost in the texture. And there is no virtue in proclaiming, as Mullova does here, that she hasn't consulted Baroque instructional sources. There are all kinds of residencies and camps for this sort of thing, where one can hear the likes of Rachel Podger adding the improvisational dimension of this music back in. Nevertheless, this is a brisk, bracing disc that will interest fans of the edgy Mullova and anyone else looking for a traditional violinist as a guide while exploring the Baroque. © TiVo
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Classical - Released June 22, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Classical - Released October 30, 2008 | Analekta

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Classical - Released June 29, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Classical - Released October 3, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Classical - Released December 12, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Classical - Released January 1, 1994 | Channel Classics Records

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Classical - Released November 22, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Classical - Released September 21, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Classical - Released November 21, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Classical - Released October 6, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.