Saturday, March 26, 2011

Vivaldi - The Four Seasons and other Concertos - Amandine Beyer, Gli Incogniti

 


 

 

 

 

Review:

Amandine Beyer, who won the 2001 Vivaldi international competition in Turin, has released her superb recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. This is truly a performance that blows any cobwebs from the popular piece, and includes premiere recordings of newly reconstructed Vivaldi concertos.

"Majestic, gossamer, hypnotic. Perfect in every inflection of the phrasing, which the young soloist sculpts with a sense of space, magnificently served by the recorded sound." -- Le Monde

Amandine Beyer What makes this recording special? The first factor is the orchestra. It is 'one to a part', which is to say, one solo violin, one first violin, one second violin one viola, one cello, one bass plus continuo (usually harpsichord and theorbe). The liner notes argue convincingly that Vivaldi probably composed the Seasons for an orchestra of virtuosi none bigger than this. But, if you aren't convinced by historical conjecture, the sound of 'one to a part' will convince you. The rustic and expressive elements make this small orchestra ideal for the subject matter. For example, Carmignola's Sony recording of the Seasons is one of the best I've heard but there are a few problems. The interpretation is too polite and not rustic enough and the orchestra is too light in the bass and thin sounding. This recording improves on these elements. Amandine Beyer is fantastic as the soloist. She is a disciple of Carmignola and while her amazing virtuosic gift may not be quite as slick, her more rustic, natural playing is certainly on par with Vivaldi's music. Perhaps an overlooked aspect of the Seasons is the orchestra writing. The main failing of the Carmignola recording was on the orchestra side and the engineering of the recording. Here, Gli Incogniti is every bit as dynamic as the soloist--just as Vivaldi intended 

 

flac, scans

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