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.”
Gian Francesco Malipiero led a long, busy and prolific life. His vast output includes numerous works in every genre but the most significant part of it is to be found in his operas, his symphonies and his eight string quartets.His string quartets may still be more telling than the symphonies……Recommended with any reservations.Hubert Culot @ Musicweb-International.com
"When listening to this CD I turned the volume up just slightly past my normal listening level, and I was rewarded with a room-filling reproduction of what I’d heard in Amsterdam. "Uitstekend!" Highly recommended." ~ClassicsToday.com
Anyone seeking a respectable Vivaldi collection by dependable performers will find this seven-disc set from Decca more than suitable for everyday needs and quite rewarding on repeated listening.
Mezzo Magdalena Kožená returns with another early music adventure on Archiv Production after her highly acclaimed Vivaldi album: Kožená explores the early Italian Baroque music of Claudio Monteverdi with rewarding results. Inspired by the improvisational nature of much of this music, Kožená reveals yet another aspect of her musical personality with selections from L’incoronazione di Poppea, Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and more.
This release marks the world-premiere recording and rediscovery of Antonio Caldara’s La Concordia de’ pianeti, a musical serenade of operatic magnitude composed for the court of Austrian Emperor Karl VI, featuring the crème de la crème of the day’s singers, including the legendary castrato Carestini.
Unearthed and edited by Andrea Marcon, the piece offers a series of virtuosic arias, breath-taking cantilenas and ethereal duets performed by some of the finest singers of today…