The performances of the music here are excellent, but the whole package matters, and it does not disappoint. The set comes in a good sturdy box. The 16 CDs are in similar study slipcases, with beautiful artwork on the front. There and full track listings and artist info on each one, so no rummaging in the booklet to find what is on the discs.
At last a clutch of horn concertos for our decade and, I suspect, for quite a bit longer as well… Pyatts’ is very much in that mode of supple, understated and often witty playing, accompanied by truly discriminating orchestral forces.
Mozart 250th Anniversary Edition: Violin Concertos, Concertos for Wind is a 5-disc set.
Composed for the Carnival season in Verona in 1735, Bajazet is a ‘pasticcio’ opera based on the familiar story of the eponymous Turkish sultan’s imprisonment at the hands of the Tartar tyrant Tamerlane. As such, it openly uses arias by other composers, including Hasse, Broschi and Giacomelli, as well as re-cycled pieces from Vivaldi’s own operas (L’Olimpiade, Giustino, Farnace, Semiramide and Montezuma among them). But this is no mere patchwork of recycled numbers. All the ‘borrowed’ arias are expertly placed within the dramatic fabric of the work and are held together with richly composed recitatives. What we end up with is the best of the best in terms of Neapolitan-style opera – tuneful, virtuosic and passionate. Virtually every number in this recording is a highlight. What really lifts the recording is the quality of the performances. There are no holes or flaws among the experienced cast. David Daniels makes a fine Tamerlane – slippery and cruel – while Marijana Mijanovic’s Asteria packs a powerful dramatic punch. Top marks too for Vivica Genaux in the technically demanding role of Irene. Ildebrando D’Arcangelo makes a commanding Bajazet, although his tough dignity comes at the loss of some sensitivity.