…these recordings were nothing short of "must haves". While – in the intervening years – performance practices have encountered emendation and musical aesthetics have been altered, the immense musical and artistic value of these performances still holds.
This release ’Pellegrina’s Delight’ is a joy from start to finish and a testament to Vivaldi’s undoubted genius. It is good to have this wonderful disc of Vivaldi works imaginatively themed around the oboe and a most welcome change too from yet another version of the ubiquitous ‘Four Seasons‘!
George Frederick Handel (1685-1759), one of the preeminent Baroque composers, was born in Germany, educated in Italy, and spent most of his career in England, making him one of the first genuinely cosmopolitan composers noted, for the elegance, sophistication, and tunefulness of his music. He established his reputation in London as a composer of Italian opera, but after public taste shifted in the 1730s, he turned to English oratorios, the most famous of which is Messiah. Other popular works include Water Music, Royal Fireworks Music, the operas Giulio Cesare and Serse, and the oratorios Israel in Egypt and Judas Maccabeus.
This recording is part of the Naïve label's Vivaldi Edition, a complete recording, scheduled to run to 100 discs, of a trove of Vivaldi manuscripts unearthed at the library of the National University of Turin. The recordings have been divided up among various mostly young Italian Baroque interpreters, with a pleasing variety of approaches.
Bob van Asperen (born 8 October 1947 in Amsterdam) is a Dutch harpsichordist and early keyboard instrument performer, as well as a conductor. He graduated in 1971 from the Amsterdam Conservatory, where he studied the harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt and the pipe organ with Albert de Klerk. Since then he has been performing extensively in Europe and the rest of the world, both as a soloist and as an accompanist/conductor.
In addition to his live performances, he has recorded repeatedly for several labels, including Sony, EMI, Teldec, Virgin, and Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, specialising in the keyboard repertoire of the 16th - 18th centuries, such as the harpsichord works of Froberger, J. S. Bach and Handel. One of the most important discography projects he has undertaken is the complete keyboard works of C.P.E. Bach and also the complete sonatas of Catalan composer Antonio Soler (Astrée, 1992). Various other projects are under way, while many of his recordings have been awarded with prestigious prizes, such as the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik and the Diapason d'Or.