A re-issue from Chaconne
of a delightful collection of rather
interesting works by Vivaldi, here performed
excellently by The Purcell Quartet and
Catherine Bott. As well as the obvious
choral/vocal works, many of Vivaldi’s
instrumental pieces were also composed
for religious services. It is impossible
to say which – if any – instrumental
works were purely secular. Some fine
examples are provided here.
The disc commences
with a skilfully-fashioned Suonata
a Quattro al Sepolcro, which immediately
shows the players’ mastery of this repertoire,
and their outstanding level of ensemble
playing – sensitive and understanding.
The following work,
In Furore iustissimae irae, introduces
Bott’s distinctive and sweet voice with
the exciting aria "In furore iustissimae
irae". She creates a suitably plaintive
mood in the aria "Tunc meus fletus",
and demonstrates great versatility and
agility in the ensuing Alleluia.
The music in the Concerto
a Quattro "Madrigalesco" (meaning
"in the style of vocal polyphony")
may strike one as oddly familiar – most
likely because the listener will be
better acquainted with the vocal works
on which it is based. Again the Purcell
Quartet give a polished yet warm performance.
The Laudate pueri,
Dominum is probably the main gem
here. It is a charming work, full of
innovation, not least by including the
highest note anywhere in Vivaldi’s sacred
music, and the use of the transverse
flute as an obbligato instrument. A
fairly virtuosic work for the voice,
Bott carries it off with flair. From
the operatic "Sit nomen Domini
benedictum" to the gentle, searingly
beautiful and lyrical "A solis
ortu usque ad occasum", she combines
a welcome lightness of touch and richness
of tone, whilst showing dexterity and
a greatly impressive range with some
extremely demanding high notes!
All these works are
taken at a good steady pace, and the
playing is accomplished throughout.
Bott’s lush and mature soprano captures
the nuances well, and brings a sparkle
to these gorgeous works. A combination
of wonderful music and exquisite music-making
that I definitely recommend.