Antonio VIVALDI(1678-1741) Flute Concertos: Concerto in F major Op.10 No. 1 La Tempesta
di Mare RV 433 [6:30], Concerto in G minor Op.10 No. 2 La
Notte RV439 [8:38], Concerto in D major Op. 10 No. 3 Il
Gardellino RV 428 [10:00], Concerto in G major Op.10 No. 4
RV 435 [6:53], Concerto in F major Op. 10 No. 5 RV 434 [8:35], Concerto
in G major Op. 10 No. 6 RV 437 [8:19], Concerto in D major RV 783
[9:44], Concerto in C major for 2 flutes RV 533 [6:49]
Barthold Kuijken (flute)
La Petite Bande/Sigiswald Kuijken (conductor and violoncello de
rec. 13-15 October 2010, Academiezaal Sint-Truiden, Belgium. SACD
ACC 24241 [66:12]
This disc of eight Vivaldi flute concertos was recorded using
period instruments and has a warm, nicely balanced sound. La
tempesta di mare starts the disc, with well-judged tempi
which allow for details to be clearly heard and space for the
music to breathe. Barthold Kuijken’s playing has sparkle and
musicianship in abundance, and the accompaniment from La Petite
Bande is excellent throughout.
The clarity of detail continues in La Notte, with an
impressively dark atmosphere created in the opening section.
The fast-moving notes in the Fantasmi Presto are played
with excellent technical control from the whole ensemble, and
Kuijken’s fascinating ornamentation in the Largo is
well worth hearing. The charming Il Gardellino features
a sense of lightness in conjunction with beautifully crafted
phrasing. The slow movement is completely captivating throughout,
with more examples of Kuijken’s imaginative ornamentation of
the solo line. The final movement returns to a light and cheerful
mood, with nicely defined dotted rhythms and an unhurried, effective
choice of tempo.
The G major concerto, Op. 10 No. 4, features more elements of
the stile galante than the other concertos, and the
sleeve-notes explain that this concerto appears to be the only
one originally composed for the Op. 10 set. The solo flute line
floats effortlessly over the ensemble here, and there is a wonderful
sense of elegance about the playing. Concerto Number 5 in F
major has a more delicate mood and the opening movement provides
a beautiful contrast. The slow movement is dark and mysterious
in atmosphere, while the contrasts of dynamic in the final movement
create an enjoyable echo effect.
The final concerto in the Op. 10 collection is a reworking of
an earlier concerto for recorder, with structural alterations
and a change of key in the version for flute. The liner-notes
include an interesting discussion of the two versions, and demonstrate
Barthold Kuijken’s obvious passion for the music he is playing.
This recording displays some impressive rhythmic accuracy, especially
within the context of the many trills and technical passages
in the final movement.
The D major concerto RV 783 was discovered in the early 1990s
and has a bright, dazzling sound. This is yet another faultless
performance, with poise, energy and clarity throughout. The
final work on the disc is the C major concerto for two flutes,
with Barthold Kuijken ably joined by Frank Theuns. The two flute
parts are well matched, and the fast-paced opening movement
has an imposing and infectious energy. The lyrical central movement
allows space for the music’s simplicity to shine, with gentle
phrasing which does not impose on the melodic lines. The energy
returns in the closing movement, with sprightly semiquavers
and clear articulation in the flutes heard against a strong
and rhythmically punchy bass-line.
Overall, this recording has a fresh voice amongst the many discs
containing these works. The approach is intelligent, well researched
and musically intuitive, and rather than feeling dry and academic,
as some period-instrument recordings can be, the high levels
of artistry here make the concertos seem as alive and fresh
as they undoubtedly were in Vivaldi’s day. Unmissable.
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