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
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.