This is a truly delightful disc by a composer whom I had never even heard of until the CD arrived in the post but as soon as I popped it into my CD player, I was hooked. The familiar melodies of Vivaldi's, Op. 8 come out beautifully and with the added sounds of the hurdy-gurdy, the whole effect is quite enchanting.
Chédeville appears to have been quite a popular figure in France of the early 18th century according to the booklet notes although his primary occupation seems to have been as an arranger of well known music. He gives spurious titles to Vivaldi's concertos transforming "Summer" to "The Pleasures of Summer" and also inserting themes such as "The Harvest" and "The Pleasure of St. Martin's Day". These decorative additions reduce none of the spirit of the music which is rather different in its instrumental guise and very easy on the ear.
This is a recording from 2002 but Arts have given it the full SACD treatment so it comes out pretty spectacularly. Purists will obviously sniff at such arrangements but for those who are not too fastidious, this CD can prove to be a hugely enjoyable experience.
Copyright © 2008, Gerald Fenech