Search - Giuseppe Tartini, Giovanni Mealli, Antonio Vivaldi :: Portrait

Portrait
Giuseppe Tartini, Giovanni Mealli, Antonio Vivaldi
Portrait
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (22) - Disc #1

This is a compendium of pieces drawn from Andrew Manze's recordings past, present, and projected. It includes single movements, groups of movements, and complete works, some unaccompanied, some with one or two supporting i...  more »

      
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This is a compendium of pieces drawn from Andrew Manze's recordings past, present, and projected. It includes single movements, groups of movements, and complete works, some unaccompanied, some with one or two supporting instruments, some with the ensemble Romanesca, some with the Academy of Ancient Music, of which Manze is co-director and concertmaster. The selections range from intimate chamber music to brilliant bravura pieces and are well designed to whet the listener's appetite to hear the complete records. They also display Manze's versatility, virtuosity, improvisatory imagination, expressiveness, and communicative power, which have propelled him to the top rank of Baroque violinists. He succeeds in combining rigorous scholarship with adventurous spontaneity, passionate involvement and a sense of humor--all of which are also in evidence in his erudite but entertaining program notes. Naturally, the most substantial pieces on the program tend to be especially impressive. Vivaldi's Concerto "La tempesta di Mare" is truly tempestuous, with extraordinarily daring harmonies and modulations. Manze's transcription and performance of a famous Bach Toccata and Fugue for organ creates the amazing illusion of an original unaccompanied violin composition. And, taken from Manze's recording with the Academy of Ancient Music, "La Follia," one of 12 Corelli Sonatas orchestrated by Geminiani as Concerti Grossi, is enormously exciting. Also noteworthy are selections by Uccellini and Marini performed with Romanesca, some movements from Bach and Handel sonatas, and part of Tartini's "La Sonata del Diavolo", better known as the "Devil's Trill Sonata," played unaccompanied with diabolical freedom and virtuosity. --Edith Eisler

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CD Reviews

Great Marketing Idea
08/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I had heard of Andrew Manze but never heard him play. This CD is a very inexpensive introduction to an incredible Baroque violinist. He opens your ears to a completely different level of performance in this type of music. Highly recommended as an introduction, but be warned that you will soon be purchasing many more of his CDs."
A rich introduction to a top Baroque specialist
Alan Lekan | Boulder, CO | 11/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Andrew Manze is a Cambridge-educated, early-music scholar, an internationally-famous period violinist, an accomplished chamber musician and director of the prestigious Academy of Ancient Music. His discography is vast - specializing in the early to late Baroque and with a strong affinity to the more unusual, 'quirky' Baroque sonatas such as those by Tartini, Schmelzer and Biber - recordings made with fellow Baroque specialists, John Toll and Nigel North (AKA 'Romanesca').

This sampler CD is a nice compilation of Manze's music - from solo violin to full orchestral music - featuring works from more well-known composers (Telemann, Bach, Handel, Vivaldi) to the more obscure Italian violin virtuoso composers (Tartini, Uccellini, Pandolfi, Geminiani, Marini). The selections spotlight his highly rhythmic, academic-rich style and techniques which have won accolades from the international music press like Gramophone, Penguin Guide, ClassicsToday and BBC Music. Highlights are the concerti grossi from Geminiani, Vivaldi and Handel and the sonatas from Handel and Telemann. One truly delightful work is the Handel Violin Sonata in which Manze illicits a most bouyant, spontaneous manner that is most uplifting. Less inspiring to me were the Bach and Pandolfi sonatas as were the somewhat mundane liner notes written by Manze - although they are not without some fascinating tidbits. But so much more could have been said about Manze, his unique style and his career in the notes by a third party to give a more colorful "portrait" of this artist.

If you are new to Manze's music, this CD is a great place to start to explore his broad discography and his compelling style and will help you sort out which composers/recordings you will most gravitate towards - or equally important ... the ones you don't. While varied and compelling, this one CD is only a smittering of Manze's recordings - unfortunately absent are representation works of his powerful readings of the unusual, free-form and often-meditative sonatas of the German-Catholic composers, Biber and Schmelzer (some of Manze's best recordings in my opinion). ClassicsToday gave this CD a perfect 10/10 if that helpf make your decision easier (the sound quality is consistentyly very vivid too). Harmonia Mundi offers this sampler CD at a "teaser" price (about half price) as a way to introduce listeners to great artists - with the hope of course that you will buy a few of the CD's represented here (at full price) that most catch your interest. Either way it is a win for the classical listener exploring the less-familiar Baroque violin repertoire that Manze specializes in dusting off from the shelves and performing most strikingly."