John Christopher Williams is an Australian virtuosic classical guitarist renowned for his ensemble playing as well as his interpretation and promotion of the modern classical guitar repertoire. In 1973, he shared a Grammy Award in the Best Chamber Music Performance category with fellow guitarist Julian Bream for Julian and John (Works by Lawes, Carulli, Albéniz, Granados).Guitar historian Graham Wade has said: "John is perhaps the most technically accomplished guitarist the world has seen."
Known for his “impressive virtuosity” (La Presse), soloist Vincent Lauzer is featured in this new album devoted to Vivaldi recorder concertos. Lauzer is accompanied by Arion Baroque Orchestra under the direction of Alexander Weimann. Though Vivaldi composed more than 500 concertos, mostly for the violin, he also wrote concertos for wind instruments, including a number for the transverse flute and for recorder. Flutes and recorders were often as included as obbligato instruments in his sacred and secular vocal works.
No, not more Vivaldi Violin Concertos! How can there be any more? Have not decades of scholarships overturned every possible rock to find every possible violin concerto by the composer of The Four Seasons, everybody's perennial favorite? Although the answer is apparently not, that is, in fact, good news: that there are still more lovely, charming, hilarious, touching, and mind-bogglingly difficult Violin Concertos by Vivaldi should warm the hearts and open the wallets of classical music lovers around the world.
Vivaldi's many cello concertos are performed here with consummate taste and superb musicality by Roel Dieltiens and the Ensemble Explorations. Dieltiens plays with a rich tone and a light touch and his robust virtuosity and enthusiastic sympathy for the music are irresistible. The seven members of the Ensemble Explorations – five strings plus lute or guitar and organ or harpsichord – play with a sense of cooperation, which leaves this music sounding as concertos from the period should, which is to say more like chamber music. Harmonia Mundi's sound is cool and clear, yet deep and full. Though fans of modern cellos and modern performance practices might prefer more romantic interpretations, anyone with an interest in period instruments and period performance practice will want to hear these recordings.(James Leonard)
Violinist Giuliano Carmignola and conductor Andrea Marcon have served up another reminder that Vivaldi, in the right hands, is so much more than sonic wallpaper. These late Vivaldi concertos, given their premiere recordings here, are, for sure, more of the same musical illustrations, birdsongs, and harmonic sequences; what stands out is the aural handling they are given by Carmignola and the Venice Baroque Orchestra under Marcon.
The acclaimed Polish period band Arte dei Suonatori perform eight of Vivaldi’s concertos a Quattro. Their version of Handel’s 12 Concerto grossi Op. 6 was awarded ‘Orchestral Choice of the Month’ in BBC Music Magazine, alongside further critical acclaim from the international music press. As well as being a major composer in the formation of the solo concerto, he also was the leading exponent of the older concerto a quattro – music in four parts, with several players to a part. His works in this genre are notable not only for their beauty, but also for their experimental character and for providing the most important examples of fugal writing in Vivaldi’s instrumental music.
This six-CD box set brings together four major concerto sets composed including the most famous Il Cimento dell'Armonia e l'Invenzione awarded pride of place.
The eminently reliable Academy of Ancient Music play their period instruments with consummate zest under their charismatic conductor Christopher Hogwood and these sets date back to the early digital cum late analogue days when the fabled 'L'Oiseau-Lyre' label still produced those lavishly packaged boxes with their distinctive white covers and the wonderful paintings.