> Viviani Symphonia Seconda [KM]: Classical Reviews- March 2002 MusicWeb-International

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  Founder: Len Mullenger

WINNER Cannes Classical Awards: Chamber/Solo Instrumental 17/18 Century

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the air from another planet

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NOT a budget performance

very attractive and interesting

finesse and stylistic assurance




Gio Bonaventura VIVIANA (1638-1690)
Symphonia Seconda
Aria Sesta
Aria Quinta
Capriccio Terzo
Toccata Prima
Introduttione Terza
Aria Quarta
Sonata Seconda
Sonata Prima, per Trombetta sola
Symphonia Cantabile
Capriccio Secondo
Aria Terza
Symphonia Prima
Aria Seconda
Introduttione Prima
Toccata Seconda
Sonata Seconda, per Trombetta sola
Sonata Prima
Capriccio Primo

Gunar Letzbor, violin
Andreas Lackner, trumpet
Wolfgang Zerer, harpsichord
Roberto Sensi, viola da gamba
Luciano Contini, archlute
Katalin Sebella, bassoon
Rec: August - September 1999, Assumption Church, Hallstatt, Austria.

ARCANA A302 [79.00]


Experience Classicsonline

Viviani was born in Florence in 1638. After working as violinist in the court chapel in Innsbruck, he left this post in 1663, when the new archduke took power. After a few years wandering, he returned to Innsbruck, as Kapellmeister, then to Augsburg. He probably went to Venice after that, where his opera Astiage was staged, and then to Rome. One interesting moment in his life was the performance of an oratorio, probably that he composed, which included at least two other great musicians: Bernardo Pasquini and Arcangelo Corelli.

Vivianiís life is not well-known; he wandered here and there, and had no long-term posts for most of his career. The recordings on this disc are a selection of his sonatas for violin and continuo - either viola da gamba with either organ or harpsichord. There are also two works for trumpet; an unusual solo instrument for such small-scale works.

There is a bit of confusion in these works. Each track is one work, often containing several movements, so it is not always clear what one is listening to. A better job in the liner notes would make this music a bit more understandable; it is not common to record music in this way, and to not indicate what the different movements are.

Nevertheless, this is music to sit back, listen to and enjoy. The subtle interplay of the instruments gives the entire ensemble a key role in this music. This is not just music for violin and accompanying instruments, but often more like trio sonatas in the counterpoint used. Gunar Letzborís violin is supple and smooth; he plays with a perfect tone and uses vibrato with great subtlety.

Vivianiís melodies range from energetic Vivaldian romps to more sinuous, sensual airs that are full of emotion. This music evokes a certain feeling, a sense of peace and calm, a sense of plenitude. There is an ideal balance between the melody and emotion, and the music carries away the listener.

This recording by a little-known Italian composer is a real gem. The performance, the music and the recording are all impeccable, and this music gives such enjoyment that it deserves to be heard by all.

Kirk McElhearn


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