This premiere recording of six Vivaldi concertos is full of surprises. The works are entirely unknown because, unlike his other compositions, they were written not for publication but for substantial private commissions from wealthy patrons. Dating from his most mature years, they exhibit a style very different from his earlier concertos, which often sound almost mass-produced. Though they are still cast in the customary three movements and are full of the usual sequences, they are more unpredictable, dramatic, and daring; adventurous in form, harmony, and texture; with sudden contrasts of mood, character, and expression. The slow movements are meltingly beautiful, but no two concertos are alike, either in detail or overall effect. Some movements hardly seem to hang together; they appear to consist of collages of motives, punctuated by bursts of virtuosity… –Edith Eisler
This album contains the second group of six concertos published in 1729 in Amsterdam by Le Cane, the series making, with Opus 11, published in the same year, the now usual set of twelve...
In tandem with the “Vivaldian ardour” (International Record Review) of conductor-harpsichordist Andrea Marcon and his Venice Baroque Orchestra, violinist Giuliano Carmignola – “a wonderfully accomplished player” (Gramophone) – has raised the bar on recordings of the Venetian Baroque master. This 7-CD set contains many of Vivaldi’s most engaging concertos, enlivened with playing “full of character, energy and sensibility” (BBC Music Magazine) – including “a performance of the Four Seasons as fine as any” (ClassicsToday). It also features Carmignola and Marcon presenting the complete Bach Violin and Harpsichord Sonatas
"Hans Werner Henze has written three violin concertos so far, separated in his output by gaps of 23 and 26 years. As you'd expect, they are very different pieces stylistically, and hearing them in succession provides a revealing map of the trajectory Henze's evolution has followed in his orchestral music. However, it's the two most widely separated works here that have the most similarities, suggesting how, in some important respects over the last half-century, he has come full circle. (…) The result is arguably one of the strongest of Henze's works from the 1970s; certainly that is how it seems in this very impressively controlled performance from Torsten Janicke and the Magdeburg Philharmonic." ~The Guardian
One of the more flamboyant characters in Paris in the latter half of the 19th century, Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de St. George (1739?-1799) was known as a championship fencer and a brilliant violinist. It is not a surprise then that his violin concertos exhibit a swaggering solo part. What you won't find is much motivic development. What you will discover are gorgeous melodies, lots of them. Although they populate all his work, they especially saturate his lyrical middle movements, one of which appears to be the basis for the haunting oboe theme from the popular BBC series, "Foyle's War".