Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:


Violin Concertos op. 6, Concerto in A major, 'The Cuckoo'.
Andrew Manze: Violin, The Academy of Ancient Music Christopher Hogwood.
Decca L'Oiseau Lyre 455-653-2 59m DDD.

Andrew Manze's delightful violin playing is the constant leimotif behind this wonderfully produced disc that brings together Vivaldi's rather obscure Op. 6 Concertos. If there is nothing extraordinary or avante garde in these works, there is definitely a wonderfully descriptive and romantic view of the music in the composer's writing. One is left to imagine green pastures and leafy woodland streams in the slow movements of Nos. 2 & 3 with expansive and rhythmically buoyant allegros that frame the works. Manze's playing is beyond reproach and he is definitely wonderfully supported by the mercurial AAM directed with vigour and understanding by Christopher Hogwood. My favourite concerto from the six is the Fifth Concerto that contains outstanding rhythmic beauty and great imagination in the final Allegro that recalls the Autumn Concerto in Op. 8. The 'Cuckoo' Concerto is also a wonderful work that is highly descriptive and contains some very lifelike images of natural subjects. Clarity and stunning sound is delivered as are very graphic and informative accounts of each work by the Vivaldian guru, Michael Talbot. Strongly recommended to lovers of this music and an essential component in any Vivaldian collection.

Gerald Fenech



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