Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Vivaldi - Variations on 'La Folia' and other Sonatas - The Purcell Quartet


Lush and sensuous, the Purcell Quartet's 1985 recording of sonatas and trio sonatas by Vivaldi belies both the purity of period instruments and the chastity of the music. Violinists Catherine Mackintosh and Elizabeth Wallfisch, cellist Richard Boothby, and harpsichordist Robert Woolley use intonation not portemento to create nuances, phrasing not tempo rubato to control pulse, and swells not vibrato to achieve climaxes. Under their hands and bows, Vivaldi's chamber music sounds much more passionateAntonio Vivaldi and intimate than usual, quite unlike the work of a retiring asthmatic priest and much more like the work of an emotional Italian of the eighteenth century. Any movement -- the ardent Allegro assai in the G minor Trio Sonata, the soulful Sarabande from the C major Sonata -- proves the point, but start with the title track: the single-movement D minor Trio Sonata is a nearly 10-minute set of variations on the old Spanish La Folia song. Listen to how Mackintosh and Wallfisch blend and weave, how Woolley adds embellishments and continuo, how Boothby backs them up and nails them down, how together they bind and unite the variations in a seamless chain of emotional intensity and musical concentration. Hyperion's early digital sound is warmer and deeper than its later digital sound.

flac, booklet

1 comment:

  1. Dear Otto,
    Could you please make this 'Folia' available again?
    Many thanks in advance and even more thanks for your great site!



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