One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
52,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!
£11 post-free


we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


TROUBADISC

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

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

WYASTONE releases



The Birth of Rhapsody in Blue
A superlative recreation


such a success


An outstanding performance


make acquaintance without delay


Violin Concerto
This is an impressive disc


Strong advocacy
for a British composer


Piano Music - Martin Jones
agreeably crafted


Piano Music 5CDs


Consistently fine


Rare and interesting repertoire


An excellent introduction


A Celebration on Record


An issue of importance


Richard RIJNVOS
A splendid disc


both enlightening and rewarding
additional review

 


Support us financially by purchasing this from

The Grand Mogul: Virtuosic Baroque Flute Concertos
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
Concerto Il Gran Mogol for flute, strings & continuo in d minor, RV431a [8:01]
Giovanni Battista PERGOLESI (1710-1736)
Flute Concerto in G [12:51]
Jean-Marie LECLAIR (1697-1764)
Flute Concerto Op.7/3 in C [14:08]
Michel BLAVET (1700-1768)
Flute Concerto in a minor [14:24]
Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767)
Concerto TWV 51:D1 in D for flute, strings and continuo [15:52]
Barthold Kuijken (baroque flute)
Indiana Baroque Orchestra
rec. 24 January 2013, 14 October 2014, 26-27 February 2018, Ruth Lilly Performance Hall, Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, University of Indianapolis, USA. DDD.
NAXOS 8.573899 [65:27]

Comparative version (Vivaldi): Avie AV2218 Katy Bircher (flute); La Serenissima/Adrian Chandler (The French Connection 2, with concertos for oboe, violin and bassoon – review DL Roundup August 2011/2) Currently out of stock from some dealers but available to download.

Don’t get too excited by the exotic-sounding title of Il Gran Mogol; this concerto, discovered as recently as 2010, is not one of Vivaldi’s more striking works, even by the standards of his best-known works for the flute, the concertos published as his Op.10. It receives a suitably elegant performance from Barthold Kuijken and the Indiana Baroque Orchestra on their third partnership for Naxos. I thought its predecessors worth every penny of their modest price (The Lully Effect, Naxos 8.573867 – review; The Versailles Revolution 8.573868 – review) and if I’m a little less enthusiastic about this follow-up it’s mainly because I prefer Il Gran Mogol in the context of the other Vivaldi concertos on Avie. I’m surprised to see, however, that the Avie is now available as a download only from some UK dealers and comes without a booklet.

In the case of the Pergolesi, too, there is greater variety to be found on a recording of music by Durante, Porpora and Alessandro Scarlatti from the European Union Chamber Orchestra directed by Eivind Aadland (Concertos for the Kingdom of the two Sicilies, Hyperion Helios CDH55005). I’ve referred to that with approval several times for comparison in reviews; it’s available on CD at mid-price and can be downloaded from hyperion-records.co.uk in lossless sound with pdf booklet for 6.99.

It’s a more substantial work than the Vivaldi and it receives fine performances on both recordings. The flautist Giulio Gianelli Viscardi may not be as well known as Kuijken, but he gives a very good account of himself, as do the cello soloist and the orchestra. Apart from the flute and cello concertos, the other works on Hyperion are concerti grossi – in the case of the Scarlatti, one of his oddly-named Sinfonie de Concerto Grosso.

The Leclair Op.7 concertos are more usually recorded with solo violin, as on Fabio Biondi’s album with Europa Galante for Glossa (Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 5, GCD923407). Those who know Biondi’s well-earned reputation for lively performances may be surprised to discover that Kuijken outdoes him in that respect, without ever sounding as if he is simply showing off his virtuosity.  Both are presumably mindful of Leclair’s dictum that allegro should not mean too fast, but gai.

Having listened first to the Naxos recording, I found the opening movement on Glossa just a little pedestrian, but that serves as a reminder always to take each performance on its own merits. Subscribers to the valuable Naxos Music Library can do the comparison themselves. The transition from violin to flute (or oboe) is specifically approved in the score, as is often the case with music of this period. Though, as noted in the Naxos booklet, it’s less easy to play on the flute, you wouldn’t think so from the performance. If the Vivaldi doesn’t quite live up the epithet ‘virtuosic’, the Leclair makes up.

The Leclair and Blavet concertos are available on a recording of French Flute Concertos from Frank Theuns and Les Buffardins (Accent ACC24297). Stephen Francis Vasta thought the performances ‘quite fine’ - review - but Kuijken gets rather more sparkle into the music, especially the Leclair.

There are rival accounts of the Telemann worth considering, too, not least from La Stagione and Michael Schneider on Volume 5 of CPO’s complete wind concertos (7774012 – review – or 8-CD set 7779392). As with the Avie Vivaldi, that presents the work in a programme of concertos for various instruments and here, too, the choice of more Telemann is very tempting, though the Naxos recording is hardly inferior.

As in the case of the earlier CD from these performers, we have had to wait several years for the earliest of the recordings here, from 2013 and 2014, to be made available in the company of more recent contributions from 2018.

All in all, the new recording offers some very civilised music in very civilised performances to which I shall doubtless wish to return. If I seem to have damned it with faint praise, that’s simply because I enjoyed these concertos in other contexts, especially in the case of the Vivaldi. On the other hand, the new performances of the Leclair and Blavet outshine the competition and the other performances are hardly inferior.

With good recording and Bartold Kuijken’s notes to round off a recording which offers many more pros than cons and comes at a lower price than any of the competition, this is well worth considering. On the subject of price, I must advise shopping around, with Naxos CDs on sale for as little as 7.50 and as much as 9.12. Download prices for this album vary, too, from 4.51/5.42/7.89 (mp3/lossless/24-bit) from one dealer to 7.89 for mp3 from another. The lowest price for 24-bit that I can find is 6.49 - 1.40 less than you could pay for mp3. Someone is asking 10.89 for a used copy of the disc. That’s why I long ago gave up trying to make sense of CD and download pricing.

Brian Wilson



We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



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


a vibrant slice of life


BRITISH CELLO WORKS
stylistically assured


About Every Hill and Valley
Swedish Songs


Hallberg and Dente
interesting and most welcome


An inspired partnership
additional review


TOSCA
A valuable document



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

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
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger