Vivaldi: La stravaganza - 12 concerti, Op. 4 (Podger, Arte Dei Suonatori Baroque

ΕΤΑΙΡΙΑ: Channel
ΚΑΛΛΙΤΕΧΝΗΣ: Rachel Podger
ΣΥΝΘΕΤΗΣ: Antonio Vivaldi
Κωδικός: 723385195030
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Vivaldi: La stravaganza - 12 concerti, Op. 4

Rachel Podger (violin)

Arte Dei Suonatori Baroque Orchestra

By the standards of the average Vivaldi violin concerto, the La stravaganza set is quite extravagant stuff, full of fantasy and experiment – novel sounds, ingenious textures, exploratory melodic lines, original types of figuration, unorthodox forms. It's heady music, and listening to its 12 concertos at a sitting, isn't a mode of listening one would recommend.
Still less so in performances as high in voltage as the present ones. There's a current trend in Baroque performance to get away from the cool- ness and objectivity which for a long time were supposed (on the whole, mistakenly) to be a part of performing practice of the time, but possibly the pendulum has swung a little wildly the other way. Perhaps here it's intended to reflect Vivaldi's own notorious freedom of performance. But anyone who's admired earlier recordings with period instruments may find these a little extravagant and hard-hitting. And they aren't helped by the resonant acoustic of the church in Poland used for the recording, which produces a full and bright sound but a boomy bass and less clear a texture than might be ideal.
That said, however, these performances by Rachel Podger are crackling with vitality and executed with consistent brilliance as well as a kind of relish in virtuosity that catches the showy spirit, the self-conscious extravagance, of this particular set of works. There are plenty of movements here where her sheer digital dexterity is astonishing – for instance, the finale of No 6, with its scurrying figures, the second movement of No 7 or the finale of No 2 with its repetitive figures and leaping arpeggios. But perhaps even more enjoyable isthe exquisitely fine detail of some of the slow movements. No 8 in D minor is perhapsthe wildest concerto of the lot, with its extraordinary lines in the first movement, the passionate, mysterious outer sections in the second and the powerful and original figuration inthe finale: that one has a performance to leave you breathless.
Another thing Podger is specially good at is the shaping of those numerous passages of Vivaldian sequences, which can be drearily predictable, but aren't so here because she knows just how to control the rhythmic tension and time the climax and resolution with logic and force. This set is certainly recommended as a fine example of a modern view of Baroque performance – and it sounds even better on SACD.

Vivaldi: La stravaganza - 12 concerti, Op. 4
Vivaldi: Violin Concerto, Op. 4 No. 1 in B flat major, RV 383a
Vivaldi: Violin Concerto, Op. 4 No. 2 in E minor, RV 279
Vivaldi: Violin Concerto, Op. 4 No. 3 in G major, RV 301
Vivaldi: Violin Concerto, Op. 4 No. 4 in A minor, RV 357
Vivaldi: Violin Concerto, Op. 4 No. 5 in A major, RV 347
Vivaldi: Violin Concerto, Op. 4 No. 6 in G minor, RV 316a
Vivaldi: Violin Concerto, Op. 4 No. 7 in C major, RV 185
Vivaldi: Violin Concerto, Op. 4 No. 8 in D minor, RV 249
Vivaldi: Violin Concerto, Op. 4 No. 9 in F major, RV 284
Vivaldi: Violin Concerto, Op. 4 No. 10 in C minor, RV 196
Vivaldi: Violin Concerto, Op. 4 No. 11 in D major, RV 204
Vivaldi: Violin Concerto, Op. 4 No. 12 in G major, RV 298



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