One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,514 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

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


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Antonio VIVALDI (1678 – 1741)
Six Concertos for Recorder
Flute Concerto in C minor RV 441
La Tempesta di mare RV 433
Flute Concerto in A minor RV 440
Il Gardellino RV 428
Flute Concerto in A minor, RV 108
La Notte RV 439
Largo from the Flute Concerto in D minor, RV 565
La Simphonie du Marais/Hugo Reyne (recorder, director)
rec. Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Vendée, September 2010

I’m sure I’m projecting, but if you, too, should be hesitant upon reading “flute concertos” on the outside of a CD, let me assuage you. While the flute is surely the most annoying instrument - maybe second to the harp - and a tool of the devil’s devising from which only exceptional masters can milk universal joy (Marina Piccinini comes to mind), this isn’t actually a CD of all-Vivaldi flute concertos. Not even for traverso flute, its baroque predecessor, but of “Concertos pour flûte” – which is to say for recorder. I’m not sure that makes it better, on paper, except that the timbre of the recorder - or the wooden traverse flute - is actually much kinder on the ears. Far from being the introductory instrument of our musically mangled childhood, it’s a bona fide virtuoso instrument in the hands of its masters such as Stefan Temmingh or, in this case, Hugo Reyne.

If you are still with me, let’s get the only quibble out of the way: The English notes of this CD might have been translated from the Chinese, for all their battering of P.G. Wodehouse’s language. Their origin however, is French, this being an all-Gallic production of the obscure, Festival-instigated “Musiques à la Chabotterie” label that captures the musical goings-on at said early music festival in the Vendée region.

La Simphonie du Marais and their flute- and oboe-playing director Hugo Reyne are the in-house band at that festival and if you are into French baroque, you might have stumbled across them before. I, for one, was recently much delighted by Harmonia Mundi’s re-issuing of his set of DeLalande’s “Symphonies Pour Les Soupers Du Roy”. Good stuff, that, and so are these six concertos for the recorder, one after another being taken with panache and technical excellence and a dash of pleasantry. Suddenly a double-take: Where are the sea-sounds coming from? It’s coming from the speakers, where pinched strings and squeaky recorders imitate seagulls eerily well. Double basses toot like early steamers and creak like masts bending, unwillingly, in the wind. “La Tempesta di mare”, says a voice, and solves the brief befuddlement: it was a musical chapter title and it makes you wonder what the group has in store for the other titled concertos on the disc. Not much, actually… the “Goldfinch” (RV 428) gets a short, presumably finchy flute-swirl, and “La Notte” (RV 439) nothing at all.

The bonus track is the Largo from RV 365 which, in Bach’s hands, became the “Sicilienne” BWV 596 as might in turn be known as the opening track from the sublime "Concertos Italiens" album from Alexandre Tharaud. Either in the Saxon treatment or the Italian original, it’s one of the most beautiful melodic moments in baroque music.

Reyne, a mean recorder player despite all his conducting duties, plays on different recorders for each of the concertos (pitched at 415 Hz), and his reminiscences and descriptions of the concertos and instruments – these being more adequately translated – add considerably to the disc.

Jens F. Laurson

Hugo Reyne on MusicWeb International
Pietro Antonio Fiocco - Le retour du printemps, pastorale
André Philidor - Marches, Fetes & Chasses pour Louis XIV
Jean-Philippe Rameau - Les Indes galantes



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3