Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider


paid for


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month



From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Antonio VIVALDI (1678 - 1741)
The Art of Vivaldi's Lute
Sinfonia for strings and b.c. in d minor (RV 127) [4:22]
Concerto for two violins, lute and b.c. in D (RV 93) [9:57]
Trio for violin, lute and b.c. in g minor (RV 85) [9:00]
In turbato mare irato, motet for soprano, strings and b.c. (RV 627) [16:24]
Trio for violin, lute and b.c. in C (RV 82) [9:14]
Concerto for viola d'amore, lute, strings and b.c. in d minor (RV 540) [12:51]
Sinfonia for strings and b.c. in g minor (RV 157) [5:54]
Ronn McFarlane (lute), C. Ann Loud, Marlisa del Cid Woods (violin), William Bauer (viola d'amore), Jennifer Ellis Kampanis (soprano)
The Bach Sinfonia/Daniel Abraham
rec. 9-10 May 2010, Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Spencerville, MD, USA. DDD

Experience Classicsonline

The title of this disc leads one to expect pieces with a solo part for the lute. One wonders why three compositions have been included without a lute part. The reason is that in the motet and the two sinfonias the basso continuo is performed on theorbo, a lute with longer bass strings. This is joined by the lute in the motet. That results in a characteristic sound which is more intimate than with a harpsichord playing the bass part. Intimacy is a feature of this recording anyway. Some fast movements are played in a more moderate tempo than we are used to hear in Vivaldi's music, in particular in performances by Italian ensembles.

The fact that Vivaldi wrote a number of pieces for instrumental ensemble with a solo part for the lute is remarkable. Since the renaissance the lute had mainly been used as a solo instrument, to accompany singers and as part of an ensemble of various instruments. When the concertante style emerged in the early 17th century the lute - and in particular the theorbo - was used in the basso continuo. Compositions for lute solo with other instruments were rare in Italy. Most pieces of this kind were written by composers north of the Alps, in particular in Germany. It is assumed that the Concerto in D (RV 93) and the two trios were composed around 1730 when Vivaldi is thought to have stayed in Prague for a while. That could explain the solo role for the lute. The trios are obviously meant as chamber music, but the concerto is also likely to have been intended for a performance with one instrument per part, as on this disc. The lack of a part for the viola is in indication of this.

The Concerto in d minor (RV 540) is a special case; it is Vivaldi's only concerto for this combination. He was one of the first composers to write any concertante music for the viola d'amore. In his oeuvre we find six solo concertos and a concerto da camera with a viola d'amore part. Furthermore he used it as an obbligato instrument in arias in some vocal works. In the concerto the viola d'amore and the lute are treated on equal terms in the fast movements. In the largo the focus is on the viola d'amore whereas the lute is reduced to playing arpeggios.

The Sinfonias which open and close this disc belong to a considerable number of pieces which are referred to as concerti ripieni. They are scored for strings and b.c. and don't include any solo episodes. They are mostly very short - every movement taking barely two minutes or less. That depends on the choice of tempi and here these are mostly on the moderate side. It works quite well in the Sinfonia in d minor (RV 127) but less so in the Sinfonia in g minor (RV 157) where I find them just too slow.

In the trios and the concertos the tempi of the fast movements are also moderate. It lends them much grace, which suits these pieces well. Ronn McFarlane gives very fine performances of the solo parts. The violin and viola d'amore parts are also nicely played. I am less pleased by William Bauer's vibrato now and then in the largo of the Concerto in d minor.

Lastly the motet: it is very much in the style of Vivaldi's chamber cantatas. Like these the motets were first and foremost vehicles for the soloist to show his or her skills. Jennifer Ellis Kampani's skills are considerable as she convicingly deals with the many coloraturas, in particular in the opening aria. She has a pleasant voice which is perfectly suited to this repertoire.

It rounds off a programme which is varied and entertaining, and gives a good impression of Vivaldi's writing for the lute. The performances generally focus on the more intimate and graceful side of Vivaldi's oeuvre. There are no exaggerations as one meets them now and then in Italian performances of this repertoire.

Johan van Veen












































Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.