Vivaldi - La cetra - 12 Violin Concertos Opus 9 (2012)

Vivaldi

Holland Baroque Society, Rachel Podger

In September 1728, Vivaldi met the Habsburg Emperor Charles VI in or near Trieste, where the emperor was supervising the construction of a new harbour. Charles was a great admirer of Vivaldi, and he gave him the title of knight and a golden chain with a medallion, and invited him to visit Vienna. In turn, Vivaldi gave the emperor a manuscript with a collection of concertos entitled ‘La Cetra’ (the cittern or lyre). It was probably no coincidence that the composer had used the same title for the Twelve Violin Concertos Opus 9 ‘La Cetra’ featured on this CD, which he published a year earlier through Le Cène in Amsterdam, with a dedication to the Emperor. According to the Vivaldi scholar Michael Talbot, the lyre symbolised the great love of music of the Habsburgers. Earlier, in 1673, Giovanni Legrenzi had already dedicated an early anthology - likewise entitled La Cetra - to the-then Emperor Leopold I. Talbot also considers the use of scordatura (adjusted tuning of the strings) in the violin part of the 6th and 12th concertos of Opus 9 to be a homage to the Habsburg Emperor. The scordatura practice was indeed a popular tradition in Austria and Bohemia, as we know from the violin music of Biber and Schmelzer. Concerning the remarkable encounter between Emperor Charles and Vivaldi at Trieste in 1728, the Abbé Conti wrote: ‘The Emperor talked about music at length with Vivaldi. It is said that he told him more in two weeks than his ministers in two years.’

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Holland Baroque Society

Free of fuss and convention, Holland Baroque Society takes to the stage with a variety of programmes. Baroque music is the key, but these musicians build bridges to other styles and arts. Balanced between tradition and renewal, they pursue the topicality of musical experience. In recent years Holland Baroque Society has collaborated with prominent Baroque musicians including Paolo Pandolfo, Quatuor Mosaïques, Emma Kirkby, Milos Valent and Hidemi Suzuki, and with composer Nico Muhly, singer and song- writer Teitur and jazz trumpeter Eric Vloeimans.

For this innovative approach the ensemble was awarded the Kersjes Prize and the VSCD Classical Music Prize in 2008, and more recently the Diapason d’Or 2012. It has brought Holland Baroque Society to all sorts of venues, from the Vienna Konzerthaus to the Amsterdam pop temple Paradiso, and from Vredenburg concert hall in Utrecht to the World Exhibition in Shanghai.

There are more projects under preparation, with Porgy Franssen, Marcus Creed, Giora Feidman, Amandine Beyer, Calefax Rietkwintet, Cappella Amsterdam, Orkater and Sergio Azzolini. Holland Baroque Society has invested just as much ambition and energy in countless Kids Only concerts and educational projects, through which thousands of children have made acquaintance with classical music. The aim is to give them a pure listening experience, and this produces pure reactions like “I’d never heard of those sunny instruments before.”

Rachel Podger

Rachel Podger is one of the most creative talents to emerge in the field of period performance. Over the last two decades she has established herself as a leading interpreter of the music of the Baroque and Classical periods. She was educated inGermany and in England at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she studied with David Takeno and Micaela Comberti. After beginnings with The Palladian Ensemble and Florilegium, she was leader ofThe English Concert from 1997 to 2002 and in 2004 began a guest directorship with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with whom she appeared in a televised bbc Prom in 2007.

As a guest director and soloist she has collaborated with numerous orchestras including Arte dei Suonatori (Poland), Musica Angelica and Santa Fe ProMusica (usa), The Academy of Ancient Music, The European Union BaroqueOrchestra, Holland Baroque Society, the Handel and Haydn Society (usa), Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (usa). Rachel has toured and recorded extensively with fortepianist Gary Cooper. Rachel records exclusively for Channel Classics and has won numerous prestigious awards including the Baroque Instrumental Gramophone Award for La Stravaganza in2003 and the Diapason d’Or de l’année in the Baroque Ensemble category for the LaCetra Vivaldi concertos with Holland Baroque Society in 2012.

Rachel directs her own ensemble, Brecon Baroque, with whom she has recorded Bach’s Violin Concertos, released in October 2010 to outstanding reviews. She is also Artistic Director of her own festival: the Brecon Baroque Festival. Rachel is an honorary member of both the Royal Academy of Music (where she holds the Michaela Comberti Chair for Baroque Violin) and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (where she holds the Jane Hodge Foundation International Chair in Baroque Violin) and teaches at institutions throughout the world.

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Vivaldi - La cetra - 12 Violin Concertos Opus 9 (2012)

Vivaldi

Holland Baroque Society, Rachel Podger

    The Absolute Sound

Podgers playing is as effervescent as ever but even more confident. Her ‘historically-informed’ execution is perfectly natural, almost off-hand, ‘original instrument’ playing all grown-up. This time out, The Holland Baroque Society collaborates and its playing, too, is invigorating. (...)

    Luister 10 -

(...) soliste en ensemble weten elkaar te vinden in een goede stroom van toe- en afnemende energie. Natuuurlijk is alles ook voortreffelijk geregistreerd, zoals bij Cahnnel verwacht kan worden.

    SA-CD.net -

a triumphant return to Vivaldi (...) Perhaps unsurprisingly in each and every one of these performances there is a sense of total rapport between Rachel Podger and the players of what is arguably the finest and certainly most versatile European period performance group.(...) One of the great delights of this set is that because each of the concertos is so varied in character and the performances are so captivating, one can happily listen to all twelve in a single two-hour sitting without the slightest manifestation of ennui ever creeping in. (...) The two SACDs are attractively presented in a double digipak and the liner notes include Rachel Podger's thoughts on both the music and working with the HBS. An amusing letter to Vivaldi by Judith Steenbrink “On behalf of the musicians of the Holland Baroque Society” completes the package. Performance 5* / Sonics 5*

    Sunday Times

Stravinsky’s alleged description of Vivaldi as “a dull fellow who wrote the same concerto 300 times over” prompts the question “How many did he know?” – especially when you listen to one of the published sets of 12 for violin and orchestra. The variety of Op 9 astounds the ear, especially in these feisty readings, which emphasise the folksy roots of the dance movements and lend them an almost funky modernity. The highlight here is the B flat major double concerto – with Judith Steenbrink as second violinist – and especially the largo e spiccato, juxtaposing a jerky orchestral ritornello with a languid ‘love duet’.

    WQXR: Album of the Week

he performances are not eccentric. Neither overfed and ponderous like old modern-instrument recordings, nor aggressive and edgy as is the current fad, Podger’s interpretation is generally middle ground. It's well tuned, and supported by a richly varied continuo of archlute, theorbo, guitar, organ and harpsichord. (...)

    Opusklassiek

we worden voortdurend vergast op verrassing en contrast. Wat daarbij zeker heeft geholpen was de wel zeer gelukkig uitgevallen wisselwerking met de continuogroep van Holland Baroque Society, met name tijdens de dialogen met de soloviool. (...) De opname paart transparantie aan definitie zonder scherpte.

    Gramophone

Podger plays with her customary beauty of tone, purity of tuning and lively variety of articulation, giving a delightfully unforced, spontaneous impression.(…) Editor’s Choice

    Classics Today -

Vibrant, Vivacious Vivaldi from Holland (…) A search for the best recording of a given set of Vivaldi violin concertos gets easier with every new release from Rachel Podger. Her last effort for Channel Classics, a scintillating recording of the 12 concertos of La Stravaganza (Op. 4) simply blew away the existing competition and this one promises to do the same. (...) Podger is a dynamic and unfailingly accurate virtuoso with exceptional interpretive instincts (...) The Holland Baroque Society is a superb ensemble - a group of young and very talented musicians whose inherent youthful energy and technical virtuosity, not to mention serious dedication to their music, reassures us older types that the future of classical music is secure. 10/10

    Klassik.com

Rachel Podgers Einspielung von Vivaldis Violikonzertsammlung "La Cetra" ist schlichtweg sensationell - einfühlsam, tonschön, agil, lebendig, ausdrucksstark. (...)Die flexibel agierende Streichergruppe wird vom empfindsam begleitenden Basso continuo hervorragend ergänzt. (...) So vereint diese Einspielung alles, was die Schönheit der Musik Vivaldis ausmacht.

    Hifi+

Rachel Podger gives as authoritative and accomplished account of the solo parts as one could wish for. The vitality and freshness of her playing in the fast movements is a joy, as is the sweetness of her sound in Vivaldi’s lovely cantabile largos. (…) Jared Sacks once again provided the listener with demonstration quality on both SACD and CD layers. Another must own disc if you please.

    Opus One Review

Rachel Podger’s solo violin skylarks high above all like an ecstatic bird. (...) Holland Baroque Society meets Rachel Podger is an album of great art by great artists. (...) The sound of this recording is impeccable, celebrating the unique colours of the period instruments including lute, organ and harpsichord. I have it on good authority that the Channel Classic’s sound is faithful to the acoustics of Amsterdam’s Waalse Kerk .

    Classical Music Sentinel

What I admire the most about this recording is the earnest approach that both Rachel Podger and the Holland Baroque Society bring to this music. (...) these musicians simply seek out the music's inner drama and bring it to the fore.(...) All in all an enjoyable and worthwhile addition to the large Vivaldi catalogue of recordings. A fresh new take on 'La Cetra' which should easily displace its other "outdated" recordings.

    MusicWeb - International

This is a real dose of the good stuff, and from the outset you know you’re in for a great time with this recording. This is evidenced by generously orchestrated harmonies, a swinging rhythmic drive and deliciously empathetic solo lines in the Allegro which kicks off the entire collection in the Concerto No. 1 RV 181a. Those lines are simultaneously virtuoso and superbly attuned to the chamber music feel of the entire ensemble. (...) Channel Classics has a knack of providing just the right proportions of warmth and detail in their recordings of baroque repertoire. This SACD production goes a step further, creating an aural picture of sparkling transparency and using the Waalse Kerk acoustic to provide a sense of space and air in the sound which is bewitchingly convincing. (...)

    Diapason

Superbe image orchestrale, ample, large et profonde. (…) Excellent relief. Timbres charnus et chaud. (…) Sa maturité répond à celle du compositeur (…) La formation épouse amoureusement les courbes de sa soliste (…) Rachel sait jouer à la diva (…) sa technique est éblouissante (…) (…) Superb orchestral image, rich, large and profound. (…) Excellent relief (…) full and warm tones. (…) her [Rachel Podger’s] maturity responds to that of the composer (…) the group marries amorously the curves of its solist (…) her technique is dazzling (…) Diapason d’Or

    Toccata

Hier wird mit Spaß, ja mit Lust musiziert. Und Rachel Podger gint all ihre Erfahrung, all ihr Künstlertum dazu. (…) Empfindsamheit, Anmut und Wärme paaren sich mit Kraft, Feuer und Hochspannung! Solche eine delikate Interpretation hört man selten. (…) CD - Tipp

    Stereophile -

Podger and her Dutch band seek out the peculiarities, the differences and surprises. The fast movements are joyful, almost dancelike, and the slow movements are embellished in ways that can be practically bluesy. (…) the recording is spectacular (…) These performances are beauties, every one. 5/5 stars

    Fanfare

those who admire Vivaldi’s violin concertos find in them a compendium of idiomatic gestures and techniques. But everyone’ should find as well a wealth of expression, lovingly recreated by Podger and the society. Recommended, urgently.

    Audiophile Audition

her (Rachel Podger’s) playing throughout is a model of grace and utter security (…) there’s a refinement in Podger’s approach that especially informs the meltingly expressive slow movements. (…) besides the superb artistry of Rachel Podger, The Holland Baroque Society outdo themselves here (…) Bravo to one and all involved in this project.

Vivaldi - La cetra - 12 Violin Concertos Opus 9 (2012)

Vivaldi

Holland Baroque Society, Rachel Podger

Cables:Van den Hul T3 series
Digital Converters:Grimm A/D DSD / Meitner DA
Mastering Engineer:Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment:B&W 803 diamond series
Microphones:Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board:Rens Heijnis custom design
Producer:Jonathan Attwood
Recording Engineer:Jared Sacks
Recording location:Waalse Kerk Amsterdam Holland 2012
Recording Software:Pyramix bij Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate:DSD64
Speakers:Audiolab, Holland

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33412: Vivaldi - La cetra - 12 Violin Concertos Opus 9
01:52:27   Select quality & channels above
Tracks
1.
Concerto No. 1 In C Major RV 181A - Allegro
Vivaldi
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2.
Concerto No. 1 In C Major RV 181A - Largo
Vivaldi
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3.
Concerto No. 1 In C Major RV 181A - Allegro
Vivaldi
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4.
Concerto No. 2 In A Major RV 345 - Allegro
Vivaldi
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5.
Concerto No. 2 In A Major RV 345 - Largo
Vivaldi
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6.
Concerto No. 2 In A Major RV 345 - Allegro
Vivaldi
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7.
Concerto No. 3 In G Minor RV 334 - Allegro non molto
Vivaldi
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8.
Concerto No. 3 In G Minor RV 334 - Largo
Vivaldi
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9.
Concerto No. 3 In G Minor RV 334 - Allegro non molto
Vivaldi
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10.
Concerto No. 4 In E Major RV 263A - Allegro non molto
Vivaldi
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11.
Concerto No. 4 In E Major RV 263A - Largo
Vivaldi
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12.
Concerto No. 4 In E Major RV 263A - Allegro non molto
Vivaldi
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13.
Concerto No. 5 In A Minor RV 358 - Adagio - Presto
Vivaldi
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14.
Concerto No. 5 In A Minor RV 358 - Largo
Vivaldi
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15.
Concerto No. 5 In A Minor RV 358 - Allegro
Vivaldi
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16.
Concerto No. 6 In A Major RV 348 - Allegro
Vivaldi
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17.
Concerto No. 6 In A Major RV 348 - Largo
Vivaldi
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18.
Concerto No. 6 In A Major RV 348 - Allegro non molto
Vivaldi
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19.
Concerto No. 7 In B Flat Major RV 359 - Allegro
Vivaldi
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20.
Concerto No. 7 In B Flat Major RV 359 - Largo
Vivaldi
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21.
Concerto No. 7 In B Flat Major RV 359 - Allegro
Vivaldi
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22.
Concerto No. 8 In D Minor RV 238 - Allegro
Vivaldi
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23.
Concerto No. 8 In D Minor RV 238 - Largo
Vivaldi
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24.
Concerto No. 8 In D Minor RV 238 - Allegro
Vivaldi
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25.
Concerto No. 9 In B Flat Major RV238 - Allegro
Vivaldi
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26.
Concerto No. 9 In B Flat Major RV238 - Largo e spiccato
Vivaldi
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27.
Concerto No. 9 In B Flat Major RV238 - Allegro
Vivaldi
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28.
Concerto No. 10 In G Major RV 300 - Allegro molto
Vivaldi
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29.
Concerto No. 10 In G Major RV 300 - Largo cantabile
Vivaldi
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30.
Concerto No. 10 In G Major RV 300 - Allegro
Vivaldi
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31.
Concerto No. 11 In C Minor RV 198A - Allegro
Vivaldi
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32.
Concerto No. 11 In C Minor RV 198A - Adagio
Vivaldi
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33.
Concerto No. 11 In C Minor RV 198A - Allegro
Vivaldi
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34.
Concerto No. 12 In B Minor RV 291 - Allegro non molto
Vivaldi
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35.
Concerto No. 12 In B Minor RV 291 - Largo
Vivaldi
00:02:17   Select quality & channels above
36.
Concerto No. 12 In B Minor RV 291 - Allegro
Vivaldi
00:03:58   Select quality & channels above

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