Thank you very much Jean-Luc for this jewel
I doubt anyone reading this, regardless of how long or little a classical music listener or collector, would include Englishman Neville Marriner among his or her list of great conductors of any of the modern, romantic, classical or baroque eras. Yet, Marriner gracefully conducted music from all those times in recordings for Decca/London, many of which remain alive and in circulation today. I would make an argument that none of his recordings — and he has many great ones — are better than this recording of Antonio Vivaldi’s dozen violin concertos collectively known as Op, 4 and La Stravaganza.
Farewell, Maestro Marriner. R.I.P. 🙁
Composer: Antonio Vivaldi
Performer: Alan Loveday, Carmel Kaine
Orchestra: The Academy Of St. Martin-in-the-Fields
Conductor: Neville Marriner
Number of Discs: 2
Size: 4.35 GB
For those listeners who are only familiar with the most popular facet of Vivaldi’s output, the ubiquitous Four Seasons, the prospect of wading through this earlier set of twelve violin concertos may not initially sound all that enticing. Unlike their much more familiar cousins (which in fact are a part of another set of concerti, Il cimento dell’Armonia e dell’Invenzione op.8), La Stravaganza does not come equipped with easy-to-grasp programmatic clues as to what the music is `about’ – no musical depictions of cuckoos, peasant’s dances, midday heatwaves, buzzing flies or walking over iced rivers here. Instead, what you get is two cd’s worth of more or less `abstract’ Italian baroque concerti, with a typically Vivaldian accent.
Does that imply an unimaginative déjà-vu journey over a terrain devoid of real interest, then, with nothing much more to tell these twelve concertos apart from each other than their somewhat dryish RV catalogue numbers? After all, a very accomplished composer also once exclaimed that Vivaldi was but a dull fellow who just composed the same concerto over and over again.
The answer, of course, is a resounding no. To a certain extent, the aforementioned opinion of Stravinsky may well be justified – however, following this logic, it would be as correct (and as blatantly wrong) to claim that all Camille Pissarro actually could paint was a single dot. Errare humanum est, even if you should happen to be a Stravinsky. Accusing Vivaldi of dullness just because he happened to compose in a certain personal (admitted, occasionally strictly defined) style sounds every bit as silly as condemning Pissarro’s canvases, in a word, pointless.
Be as it may, and to the joy of all baroque music lovers, La Stravaganza is literally bursting with gloriously swirling melodies, dazzling solos, melting cantilenas and powerful ritornellos. All this topped with a spotless and inspired delivery from the ASMF and the soloists (Carmel Kaine and Alan Loveday) makes this set an irresistible “must have”.
This performance of La Stravaganza not only manages to negotiate the tricky runway leading towards Vivaldian heights of elegance and beauty; it also takes flight, and the following dazzling sense of weightlessness elevates the listener to quite another level.
|No. 1 In B Flat Major|
|A1.2||II. Largo E Cantabile|
|No. 2 In E Minor|
|No. 3 In G Major|
|A3.3||III. Allegro Assai|
|No. 4 In A Minor|
|B1.2||II. Grave E Sempre Piano|
|No. 5 In A Major|
|B2.3||III. Allegro (Moderato)|
|No. 6 In G Minor|
|No. 7 In C Major|
|C1.2||II. Allegro (Molto)|
|No. 8 In D Minor|
|C2.2||II. Adagio – Presto – Adagio|
|No. 9 In F Major|
|No. 10 In C Minor|
|No. 11 In D Major|
|D2.3||III. Allegro Assai|
|No. 12 In D Major|
|D3.1||I. Spirituoso E Non Presto|
Analyzed folder: /192k Vivaldi – La Stravaganza – Marriner
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR13 -1.26 dB -19.30 dB A1 No. 1 In B Flat Major.aif
DR14 -0.97 dB -19.47 dB A2 No. 2 In E Minor.aif
DR14 -0.68 dB -20.58 dB A3 No. 3 In G Major.aif
DR14 -0.29 dB -20.75 dB B1 No. 4 In A Minor.aif
DR15 -1.41 dB -20.73 dB B2 No. 5 In A Major.aif
DR14 -0.75 dB -20.18 dB B3 No. 6 In G Minor.aif
DR14 -0.47 dB -20.27 dB C1 No. 7 In C Major.aif
DR14 -0.84 dB -20.26 dB C2 No. 8 In D Minor.aif
DR14 -0.49 dB -19.45 dB C3 No. 9 In F Major.aif
DR14 -0.49 dB -20.20 dB D1 No. 10 In C Minor.aif
DR16 -0.50 dB -20.89 dB D2 No. 11 In D Major.aif
DR16 -1.15 dB -23.15 dB D3 No. 12 In D Major.aif
Number of files: 12
Official DR value: DR14
- RCM: Okki Nokki (L’art du son, Clearaudio’s Diamond Cleaner)
- TT: Vintage (1982) Yamaha PX-3
Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
- Cartridge: ZYX 50R Bloom
- Phono amp: Audio Research SP15 own tube phono section
- ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC
- Pre Amp: Audio Research SP15
- Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
- Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
- Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
- Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
- Super light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
- DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
- Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
- Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5
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