- Rachel Podger (Violin)
Notes & Reviews:
Since the release of her spectacular set of Vivaldi's La Stravaganza concertos back in 2003, Rachel Podger's recording agenda has been focused on music by Mozart and Bach. This release of the La Cetra concertos marks her very welcome return to music by the Venetian maestro, a composer with whom the violinist has a clear affinity. As with La Stravaganza, there are many jewels in this set, some of which place even higher technical demands on the soloist. Several of the concertos also include fascinating and exotic experimental effects. Podger is supported here by the young and energetic Holland Baroque Society, whose innovative performance style and keen scholarship makes them a perfect partner in this repertoire. Bringing together some of Vivaldi's best music, played by some of the world's finest performers, this Channel Classics disc offers listeners a joyful, energetic and inspiring musical experience.
BBC Music Magazine
Podger has one of the sweetest tones of any period-instrument violinist.
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 soloist.
Personality and charisma can easily be found in Rachel Podger's account of Vivaldi's violin concertos...the elegant energy in her phrasing is adorable...contrasts are vivid, the drama is considerable, and the orchestra's sonic tapestries bring their own special joy.
A series of fascinating improvisations... Particularly effective are "North Atlantic", with its rhapsodic violin over a poignant two-note piano figure, and the 12-minute "Godot", an eerily melancholy alliance of hypnotic industrial pulse and keening solitude.
Worlds meet symbolically and literally in this dazzling place. Hahn and Hauschka improvised these 12 tracks on the spot in response. Much is eerily beautiful, making use of ethereal multi-trackings and wispy violin overtones...Not lyrical listening, but haunting, quirky and like nothing else.
Financial Times, July 2012
The music world is inestimably the better for Rachel Podger...Everything she touches comes to life in a way that is not only satisfying musically but also representative of the human spirit at its most vital...Podger reveals unexpected depth and variety of expression in the music...Podger wears her virtuosity lightly, and the relationship with the Holland Baroque Society players is clearly one of mutual inspiration.
BBC Music Magazine, August 2012
Unlike some of her continental rivals Podger's light bowing and well-judged tempos effortlessly discover the tenderly poetic content of Vivaldi's music, and here that dimension is abundant...Podger's playing radiates expressive warmth and we can only delight in the spontaneous rapport that she feels with the mature idiom of these wonderful concertos.
American Record Guide, November/December 2012
Really, though, do yourself a favor and pick up this release. I would be happy if this were my only recording of these 12 concertos. The musicians are truly engaged with the music; you can't escape that either when you listen to the music or when you read the notes. They clearly found a great deal of joy in recording these concertos, and it's easy to hear. The fast passages are crisp and fiery - and really fast! - while slow passages come off with an easy, languid grace. Rachel Podger's playing is so good that it's transparent - you don't even notice it, and then when you do, you think it isn't possible. The music just is, and it's beautiful, and there aren't any bad notes to spoil it. Kind of like heaven.
Recording information: Waalse Kerk, Amsterdam (09/2011/01/2012).
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Works DetailsVivaldi, Antonio : La cetra, concertos (12) for one or two solo instruments, strings & continuo in two books, Op. 9
- Performer: Rachel Podger (Violin)
- Conductor: Rachel Podger
- Ensemble: Holland Baroque Society
- Running Time: 110 min. 24 sec.
- Period Time: Baroque
- Form: Concerto
- Written: 1727