A second volume of Vivaldi's delightfully brief string concertos brings more polished and lovely playing from the Collegium Musicum 90's stable under the inspired direction of Simon Standage.
This is tunefully exuberant music, harmonious to a fault and ravishing in its sense of proportional momentum. There are twelve concertos in all with some like RV 143 and 152 full of typical Vivaldian effects like ritornelli, cascading trills, and a whole box of tricks while others are distinctly more quiet and introspective. Standage conducts with panache and his players respond alertly and with a degree of carefree enjoyment that is quite infectious.
One must also draw attention to the delightful cover which features a lovely reproduction of "Birds and Deers" in a Garden" by Jakob Bogdani. Standage's own essay is a model of scholarly study with his informative description terming these works as classic "concerti da quattro" and a symmetrical comparison with similar ouput from contemporaries such as Albinoni and Corelli. Recorded in crystal clear sound at All Saints, East Finchley, London this collection is a must for Vivaldian enthusiasts.
Copyright © 2001, Gerald Fenech