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Per Monsieur Pisendel 2 Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Suonata à Solo facto per Monsieur Pisendel in A, RV29 [8:57]
Johann Georg PISENDEL (1687-1755)
Sonata for violin and continuo in c minor [14:08] Antonio MONTANARI (1676-1737)
Sonata for violin and continuo in d minor [8:17] Tomaso ALBINONI (1671-1751)
Sonata for violin and continuo in B flat [10:29] Johann Georg PISENDEL
Sonata for violin in a minor [14:47] Antonio VIVALDI Suonata à Solo facto per Monsieur Pisendel in F, RV19 [16:45]
La Serenissima (Adrian Chandler (violin), Gareth Deats (cello), Thomas
Dunford (theorbo), Robert Howarth (harpsichord and organ))
rec. 2014, Hospital of St. Cross, Winchester, England. DDD.
AVIE AV2308 [74:30]
Hardly unexpectedly, the most onerous thing about reviewing
this CD proved to be typing in all the performance details. It’s some
time since La Serenissima delighted us with what I believe was their
debut album, Per Monsieur Pisendel 1 (AV0018). Johan van Veen
thought the performances there virtuosic but superficial – review;
other reviewers thought highly of it. I’ve heard just about every recording
that they have made since then and enjoyed them all, including this
The works which Vivaldi wrote for Pisendel are comparatively well known:
there’s a good selection of five Concerti per Pisendel on Naïve
OP30538 – review
News 2013/11. Appointed to the Dresden court at the tender age of
25, he travelled to Venice and studied with Vivaldi and made the acquaintance
of the other two Italians whose music is included on this CD: Albinoni
The subtitle of the album – 6 Virtuoso Violin Sonatas of the
Baroque – my italics – states what to expect. The first four works
are of the sonata da chiesa type, established by Corelli, though
apparently not so named by him: slow-fast-slow-fast. The Albinoni (tracks
13-16) is a suite of dances – an opening Allemanda (larghetto)
and three fast sections and the final Vivaldi sonata (trs. 20-24) varies
the da chiesa type by adding a final fast movement as a fitting
conclusion to the programme. There is little for the continuo instruments
to do, especially as some of the sonatas are marked à solo.
Pisendel’s own compositions are few in number but the two here can hold
up their heads in this distinguished company: though clearly influenced
by Italian models, he was also his own man and the sonata in a minor
is believed to have inspired Bach’s solo violin sonatas and partitas.
It is in many ways the most striking work on this album.
There are two fine alternatives, from Rachel Podger (Channel Classics
CCSSA35513) and Amandine Beyer (Zig-Zag Territoires ZZT110902). The
Beyer recording is particularly interesting in that it couples the Pisendel
Sonata with the Bach works which it inspired; otherwise Adrian Chandler
holds his own with the distinguished competition. There are alternatives
for the other works, too, except the Montanari, but unless you particularly
want the couplings on those rival recordings La Serenissima are well
up to the challenge.
One recording of the Vivaldi Sonatas for Pisendel from Baltic Baroque
on Estonian Records failed to receive Brian Reinhart’s blessing, though
I liked it a little more – DL
News 2013/12 and 2013/13.
If only RV19 on that recording had been as good as the gloriously energetic
version which closes the new Avie CD: significantly it’s almost a minute
faster. Speed is not the only factor, however: La Serenissima impress
more with the opening RV29 even though they are significantly slower
than Baltic Baroque.
The performances are scholarly: A is tuned to 400 and Valloti and Young
temperament is employed. The average listener, however, need not bother
with such matters: scholarship nowhere gets in the way of enjoyment.
The repertoire may be a little less mainstream than some of La Serenissima’s
other recordings but still enjoyable. If you haven’t yet obtained their
two volumes entitled The French Connection (AV2178: I liked this
more in DL
Roundup December 2009 than my colleague who listened to the CD –
– and AV2218 – DL
Roundup August 2011/2), that’s probably the best place to get to
know their work.
The recording is very good: bright and forward but not unduly so, and
the booklet of notes is informative. I returned to Volume 1 immediately
afterwards and I still like it as much as I remember. I certainly enjoyed
this successor very much. Sample it fromQobuz
Music Library – both with pdf booklet – and I believe that you will