VIVARTE is the legendary Sony Classical period music label known for producing outstanding recordings on period instruments. The recordings by legendary producer Wolf Erichson are done with the best recording technologies and by one of the best production teams in the world (Tritonus Music Production, Stuttgart). The label started producing when Sony Classical was founded (in 1989). The production came to a standstill recently when Wolf Erichson retired and DHM became the new label of period music within Sony Classical. Among the outstanding artists which recorded for Vivarte are: Anner Bylsma, Gustav Leonhardt, Jos Van Immerseel, Tafelmusik, Huelgas Ensemble and others.
The first volume of Concerti per molti strumenti (called Concerti per mandolinio) was a real knock-out. This second volume will prove that there is a lot more Vivaldi to discover. The first concerto of this CD is a Concerto a 10 V in D. The recorded sound is excellent and the majestical slow opening with horns and timpani will get the hairs on your arms to stand stright up! The slow movements (an alternate second movement with solo organ is also present) are both heartrendering and conveyes the impression of entering an mini-opera without words.
The premise of a cello-playing four piece (from Finland, no less) performing the music of Metallica may seem outrageous at first, but much of the metal gods' repertoire translates surprisingly well into this "classical" reading. And while Apocalyptica chooses to concentrate on more recent hits like "Enter Sandman," "Sad But True" and "Wherever I May Roam" for obvious commercial purposes, it is Metallica's earlier, more complex compositions, like "Master of Puppets," "Creeping Death," and "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)," which actually work best in this scenario. The quartet's love and understanding of the music is the real key here, and their attention to detail and technically flawless performance will no doubt satisfy even the most skeptical of fans…
The English, historical-instrument, Baroque ensemble La Serenissima (the term was a nickname for the city of Venice) has specialized in somewhat scholarly recordings that nevertheless retain considerable general appeal, and the group does it again with this release. The program offers some lesser-known composers, and some lesser-known pieces by famous composers like the tiny and fascinating Concerto alla rustica for two oboes, bassoon, strings, and continuo, RV 151. What ties the program together formally is that it covers a range of Italian cities that were becoming cultural centers as they declined in political power: not only Venice (Vivaldi, Albinoni, Caldara), but also Padua (Tartini), Bologna (Torelli), and Rome (Corelli). There are several works by composers known only for one or two big hits, and these are especially rewarding. Sample the opening movement of Tartini's Violin Concerto E major, DS 51, with its unusual phrase construction and daringly chromatic cadenza passage: it has the exotic quality for which Tartini became famous, but it does not rely on sheer virtuosity. That work is played by leader Adrian Chandler himself, but he also chooses pieces for a large variety of other solo instruments: the Italian Baroque was about more than the violin. Each work on the album has something to recommend it, and collectively the performances may make up the best album of 2017 whose booklet includes footnotes.