Magazine article Gramophone

BAROQUE INSTRUMENTAL: WINNER Italian Concertos from la Serenissima

Magazine article Gramophone

BAROQUE INSTRUMENTAL: WINNER Italian Concertos from la Serenissima

Article excerpt

La Serenissima have a glorious and all-too-rare ability to make one's pulse race afresh with every new project, and 'The Italian Job'--a programme of sinfonias and concertos from four musical cities--contains all their typical hallmarks: crisply precise articulation, bang-on intonation, elegant blending and zinging sonority, but all this perfection is by no means straight-laced. Instead there's a fearless, fun-filled naturalness to the whole, and always the impression of an ensemble who believe in every single note they strike or stroke.

Looking at the programme itself, it's a feast of contrasting textures and colours. Compare the reedy bite and bounce of Vivaldi's Bassoon Concerto in C with the lighter, all-strings elegance of Tartini's Violin Concerto in E, for instance. Or indeed the disc's climactic work, Torelli's Sinfonia in C, because while with recordings I'm usually only focused on the finished package, with this sinfonia's monster-sized solo line-up of four trumpets, timpani, and two each of oboes, bassoons, violins and cellos, I can't help but dream of what an extraordinary listening experience the recording sessions must have been. It's certainly come across wonderfully on disc. …

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