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.
Hausmusik’s performance of the Mendelssohn Octet comes with the advantage of a sensibly steady tempo for the famous scherzo, allowing for maximum transparency and lightness; and a dazzling finale in which for once the cello’s first scurrying fugal entry sounds crystal clear. The First String Quintet, and the Op. 13 Quartet – Mendelssohn’s homage to the late quartets of the recently deceased Beethoven – are also miraculous products of the composer’s teenage years. The Quintet is quite beautifully done here, but the Quartet, like the late Quintet, Op. 87, is rather lacking in tension and urgency. Woldemar Bargiel was Schumann’s brother-in-law. For all its obvious weaknesses, his Octet contains some attractive ideas, and Divertimenti’s performance makes a strong case for it. Divertimenti is impressive in the Mendelssohn, too – though its finale is not quite as exhilarating as Hausmusik’s; and in the last resort neither group can quite match the élan of the ASMF Chamber Ensemble.
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…
Among the finest performers of early music and arbiters of period practices, Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques turn their attention here to the composer whose work inspired the ensemble's name and purpose. In this 2000 disc devoted to the music of Jean-Philippe Rameau, Rousset and his ensemble turn in vigorous and appealing performances that present Rameau's music in a new light. The chaste and sometimes severe Pièces de clavecin en concerts are dramatically transformed in these sumptuous versions for string orchestra and continuo.