This venerable recording by the Italian Quartet from 1965 was, for many years, the standard reference copy of both works either individually or as a coupling. One of the considerable virtues of this group of players was that they could always be relied upon to play in tune and to play with musicianship. The competition was not so strong as it is today as many of the alternative groups simply could not deliver accuracy in tuning (or even worse, the notes). This was rarely commented upon in review magazines at the time, a source of complete bemusement for me, but as one who was expected to play in tune I found listening to string chamber music almost beyond bearing for much of the time - except for this group.
When back in 2003 Rachel Podger’s recording of Vivaldi’s 12 violin concertos Op.4 ‘La Stravaganza’ Vivaldi: La Stravaganza – Podger/Arte Dei Suonatori was released it was universally acclaimed & quickly went on to garner numerous awards from many sections of the music press including Gramophone, Stereophile & The Absolute Sound as well as winning a Diapason d’Or. It is also interesting to note that even on SA-CD.net more than 100 people have recommended that recording. In the intervening years Rachel Podger has widened her recorded repertoire to make further highly regarded recordings of works by Bach, Haydn & Mozart, but she has now made a triumphant return to Vivaldi with this wonderful set of the composer’s 12 Violin Concertos Op.9 known as ‘La Cetra’ .
Founded 70 years ago by Paolo Borciani, Elisa Pegreffi, Lionello Forzanti and Franco Rossi, Quartetto Italiano is one of the finest string quartets of the 20th century. The group recorded almost exclusively for Philips Classics, leaving a legacy admired for its insight and technical brilliance. This 37CD Box Set celebrates the artistic achievements of the Quartet by presenting their complete recordings on Decca, Philips and DG.
This 37CD Box Set celebrates the artistic achievements of the Quartet by presenting their complete recordings on Decca, Philips and DG. Featured are the legendary Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms cycles as well as many other interpretations…
This album, originally recorded in 1992, was remastered in 2008 and issued as part of the Heritage series of Jordi Savall's Alia Vox label in a nifty combination of reissue and improvement. The album certainly qualifies as one of the greatest hits of Savall (whose role here is as gambist, with a small ensemble of northern European players ) and his wife, soprano Montserrat Figueras, who is the star of the show. Figueras' vocals are as usual a central attraction, with their incredible combination of suppleness, accuracy over a wide range, expression, and Iberian gutsiness. But the program here, though somewhat removed from the Iberian core of the Figueras/Savall repertory, is equally compelling.
Born into a humble family in 18th century Italy, Pietro Nardini¡¦s talent for violin playing led him to Livorno to study with the celebrated Giuseppe Tartini, where he reportedly became as good a violinist as his teacher. He travelled throughout Europe and was resident musician at several of its major courts ¡V notably Tuscany, where he was Director of Music. Such was his reputation as an extraordinarily expressive technician that he was asked to play in the presence of King Ferdinand and Queen Carolina in Naples as well as Wolfgang and Leopold Mozart, not to mention other celebrities of the age. His string quartets, initially written for the amateurs of the Florentine public, were widely commercial and published all over Europe, and this is reflected in their simplistic nature.
After recording Vivaldi's set of Violin Concertos 'La Stravaganza', Opus 4, in 2003, Rachel Podger has been immersed in music by Mozart and Bach on disc. But it has now felt right to come back to the Venetian Maestro, whose sense of drama she adores: “This time I chose his opus 9, the set of 12 Violin concertos entitled 'La Cetra'. There are plenty of jewels in this set, just as in 'La Stravaganza', with even higher technical demands made on the soloist including many, often exotic experimental effects.”