Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

Buy through MusicWeb
for £16 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button

Antonio VIVALDI: Recorder Concertos

George Frideric HANDEL: Recorder Sonatas

Piers Adams (recorder), David Watkin (cello), Howard Beach (harpsichord, organ)
rec. November 1989, St Dunstan's Church, Cheam, UK. DDD
RED PRIEST RECORDINGS RP008 [56:40 + 59:13]

Experience Classicsonline



CD 1
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
Concerto for transverse flute (recorder), strings and bc in F, op. 10,1 'La Tempesta di Mare' (RV 433) [6:40]
Concerto for recorder, strings and bc in a minor (RV 445) [9:45]
Concerto for recorder, strings and bc in c minor (RV 441) [10:29]
Concerto for transverse flute (recorder), strings and bc in D, op. 10,3 'Il Gardellino' (RV 428) [10:12]
Concerto for transverse flute (recorder), strings and bc in g minor, op. 10,2 'La Notte' (RV 439) [8:15]
Concerto for recorder, strings and bc in C (RV 443) [11:15]
Piers Adams (recorder)
Musica da Camera (Roy Goodman, Miles Golding (violin), Jane Compton (viola), Jane Coe (cello), Mandy MacNamara (double bass), Robert King (harpsichord, organ))
rec. November 1988, Radley College, Abingdon, UK. DDD
CD 2
George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
Sonata for transverse flute (recorder) and bc in G, op. 1,5 (HWV 363b) [7:55]
Sonata for recorder and bc in g minor, op. 1,2 (HWV 360) [7:29]
Sonata for recorder and bc in C, op. 1,7 (HWV 365) [10:11]
Variations on Harmonious Blacksmith for harpsichord (recorder, cello and harpsichord) (HWV 148) [3:47]
Sonata for transverse flute (recorder) and bc in D (HWV 378) [6:46]
Sonata for violin (recorder) and bc in d minor, op. 1,1 (HWV 359a) [6:30]
Sonata for recorder and bc in F, op. 1,11 (HWV 369) [7:09]
Sonata for recorder and bc in d minor (HWV 367a) [9:22]

 
This set of two discs brings us back to the late 1980s when the use of period instruments wasn't as common as it is today. Handel's music was frequently played, and his sonatas were part of the standard repertoire of chamber ensembles. Vivaldi's popularity started to grow, but the largest part of his oeuvre was still waiting to be rediscovered. The recorder was one of the most popular instruments from the early days of historical performance practice. According to the booklet Piers Adams is "widely regarded as one of the greatest recorder players of our time". I have to take the author's word for it, but these accolades seem a bit exaggerated as there are quite a number of 'great recorder players' nowadays. It is quite possible that these recordings of concertos by Vivaldi and sonatas by Handel were remarkable achievements at the time. But I can't see much reason why they would attract special attention in our time, especially as there are quite a number of recordings of this repertoire on the market.
 
Only three of the six concertos by Vivaldi were originally scored for recorder. The Concertos RV 443 and 445 are scored for flautino and played here at the sopranino recorder. The Concerto RV 441 is performed at the treble recorder. The remaining three concertos are from a set of six which were printed in 1729 in Amsterdam as op. 10. They were scored for transverse flute, strings and bc which reflects the growing popularity of the flute at the cost of the recorder. Most of the concertos from op. 10 are reworkings of concerti da camera which Vivaldi had written for four instruments and bc. Although Vivaldi indicated the scoring of some parts, in other cases he left the choice of instrument to the performer. The original version of the Concerto in D, op. 10,3 was scored for four instruments: recorder/flute/violin, oboe/violin, violin and cello/bassoon. All sorts of combinations were possible. Even when a specific instrument was indicated, the choice of another instrument seems perfectly legitimate. Considering the flexibility in regard to the scoring there can be no objection against playing the three flute concertos at the recorder. As they are not transposed to a different key one can hardly consider these performances as 'arrangements'.
 
Piers Adams plays the solo parts generally quite well, adding probably more ornamentation than was common at the time. He does particularly well in his creative interpretation of the Concerto in D, op. 10,3, with the nickname Il Gardellino. On the other hand there is too little differentiation between the notes and not enough dynamic shading. The most disappointing part of this recording is the performance of the string parts. These are rather pale in comparison with later recordings, in particular by Italian ensembles.
 
The second disc is devoted to sonatas by Handel which have always been quite popular, not least because a general lack of sonatas for recorder. In the 1970s and 1980s many of Handel's sonatas were indiscriminately played on the recorder, although some of them were not scored for it. The corpus of Handel's chamber music suffers from the editions which were printed by unscrupulous publishers. As the recorder was still very common in England in Handel's days and his music was in much demand, they adapted sonatas for the recorder for commercial reasons. Four of the sonatas in the programme were originally scored for recorder: HWV 360, 365, 367a and 369. The sonatas HWV 363b and 378 were intended for the transverse flute and the sonata HWV 359a for the violin. Like Vivaldi's flute concertos they are played in the original keys, and as long as they sound well they can be perfectly played on the recorder. Piers Adams uses three different instruments: a descant recorder, a treble recorder and a voice flute. He plays well, again with quite a lot of ornamentation. In this department he sometimes goes a little overboard, for instance in the a tempo di gavotta from the Sonata HWV 365. The closing cadenza of the Sonata HWV 367a is rather tasteless. The variations on Harmonious Blacksmith were written for harpsichord and belong to Handel's most popular works. Playing the upper part at the recorder, with the other parts performed on cello and harpsichord, is an interesting option, which can be historically justified. Some variations are played at very high speed, and these don't work that well.
 
As with the Vivaldi recordings there is little which catches the attention of the present-day listener. There are many recordings of Handel's sonatas in the market which are just as good or better. It is probably the budget price of this set which could entice lovers of the recorder to purchase it.
 
Johan van Veen
http://www.musica-dei-donum.org
https://twitter.com/johanvanveen
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

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

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      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

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

Nostalgia

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

Comment
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

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
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
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
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
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
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.