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: op. 10 Flute Concerti

#alttext# 50 minutes of music, and if you were collecting Vivaldi in the early 1990s, this was a catch... one of the first widely available collections of Vivaldi's tenth opus on CD. Now, it's Archiv Produktion, meaning the ensemble is playing on authentic instruments, and in this case with Ms. Beznosiuk (sister to violinist Pavlo), it's a transverse flute. The ensemble is well known - Simon Standage leading on violin with director Trevor Pinnock on harpsichord. At the time, I thought this was a good CD. Like with any, I picked out a few favorite tracks. Probably the favorite work was the second concerto, depicting ghosts in the night. Beznosiuk does an admirable job with the music, although at times she (and to the same extent the orchestra) are a tad bit "straight," slaves to the metronome. You'll find not everyone plays these works on transverse flute; some are played on recorder, including the G-minor "Notte" concerto (which, incidentally is so good, Vivaldi has a few variations on this concerto). Compared with a later interpretation by Sebastian Marq with Ensemble Matheus under Jean-Christoph Spinosi, this one is a tad pedestrian. Most noble on the recording is the sound of the English Concert. They are recorded in such a way that the strings don't stand out, instead, they have a coherent sound that's smooth and polished, but instead of sounding "too far away" in the stereo image, they simply sound appropriately in the background. And somehow, the flute and harpsichord stick out just enough to offer the proper focus and color. I'd likely include this recording among the treasure trove of recordings Pinnock and Co. made during their career together. In some ways, this recording broke new ground (for one, it was an early example of a HPP recording that includes plucked continuo in some concerti), and the flute playing is of a high caliber. The style employed here, however, is on the polite side to my ears in 2011. I might wager to say that the EC is a fine chamber ensemble. They make nice sounds and play the music with the notes in all the right place. But the authentic bandwagon has changed a bit since this recording. If a flute or recorder is either employed, the ensemble by necessity must be small. In other recordings that highlight some of these works in my own personal collection, the more recent ones take on the color of chamber pieces, with far more virtuosity in all parts. The virtuosity takes shape from more contrasts in dynamics, tempo, and Affekt between phrases. There's simply more drama. This polite recording is still a valid one, however, and if found among other concerti in a budget set, might be ripe for audition.

Hands - Holland and Habichuela

Organ Works, volume 1