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Vivaldi: La cetra 12 concerti, Op. 9

Rachel Podger & Holland Baroque Society

ChannelClassics: CCS SA 33412 - 2 discs

This is a gorgeous double-CD of Vivaldi's Op. 9, with not a single redundant movement.

The young Holland Baroque Society "brought up with historical performance practice as our mother language" play with zest and continual variety with Rachel Podger at ther unsurpassabe best.

She is one violinist who I actually prefer to hear on disc; seen live she can be distractingly flamboyant.

Balance is perfect, without spotlighting the soloist, and these state-of-the-art studio recordings arel packaged enticingly, with numerous photos and several illuminating and entertaining essays, one of them A letter to Illustre Signor Antonio Vivaldi from Judith Steenbrink of the Holland Baroque Society.

Everything you'd want to know - and more - is in the 36 page booklet (with English first !) and this release really is a joy. Take two or three of these short concertos at a time to keep ears alert to the surprises and different worlds of these highly varied works, with novelties which Rachel herself points out to us.

Not to be missed, especially by older listeners who were brought up to think that Vivaldi composed hundreds of concertos "all the same"; that they're not !

Peter Grahame Woolf