I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

Vivaldi Concerti

Maurice Steger & I Barocchisti perform recorder concertos of Antonio Vivaldi on Claves steger_vivaldi.jpg It was some time ago now that I collected yet another Vivaldi flute (or recorder) CD and was like blown away. This new ensemble came to my door, this Ensemble Matheus under a violinist named Spinosi. Sebastien Marq was the soloist, and it was all together tight, sassy, and it had more attitude than just about anything I owned. To this day it's one of my favorite recordings. I've been collecting two CDs with recorder player Maurice Steger, and while he's always playing well, he didn't quite have the attitude that Marq did with Ensemble Matheus. Not a bad thing, but a point to note. In this release with another new ensemble (to my ears) we get attitude all over the place. This is a fun disk. You're likely to already have some of these concertos in your collection, I did. We're treated to three concertos from Vivaldi's opus 10 collection (#3, #5, and #6) including the famous Goldfinch. While Diego Fasolis' ensemble is not as "tight" or astringent in their approach as Spinosi & Co., they can get exciting but they really let Steger come out front and show off. One aspect of their playing that I really admire is the attention to ornamentation. On repeats, they're all over the place, having fun, adding their own bank of extra notes into Vivaldi's basic lines. It should be noted that each concerto isn't for flute; there are fiesty numbers like RB 127 in A minor where I Barocchisti are by themselves, in string concertos (overtures). Every piece on this recording is a winner from Vivaldi's obviously prodigious output. I'm so glad I discovered yet another fine ensemble that can play with energy and verve. Whether it's in the string chamber works such as RV 155, or the concerti with flute such as Il Gardellino or RV 108, both I Barocchisti and Steger command with their energy and inventiveness. I think this might be the 4th or 5th recording I have of the Goldfinch, but it's easily my favorite. Warmly recommended.

Il Giardino Armonico: Il Pianto di Maria

Lewis Ginter Botanical