Recordings marred by awful presentation
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Vivaldi's cantatas can be glorious, as good as those of the masters in this genre Handel and Alessandro Scarlatti. However this series is not the one to go for.Firstly there are no texts or translations in the booklet. Secondly the recording does not use period instruments. Thirdly the text of each cantata is read out before it is sung on the same track as the initial recitative so cannot be programmed out. And fourthly without the speech they would not have had to spread the 81 minutes playing time across two CDs.There are too many good recordings of Vivaldi cantatas available now to make this recommendable. My first choice would be the 6 cantatas sung by Emma Kirkby and Catherine Bott, which make up the second disc on the Decca Double Gloria conducted by Hogwood. These are so beautifully played and sung and packaging and presentation is a treat.Hardcore Vivaldi fans will probably want the ongoing cantata series by Modo Antiquo and various soloists on Tactus, but be warned that this doesn't have translations to the Italian texts.A final suggestion - the Vivaldi Masterworks box on Brilliant Classics contains 5 CDs of cantatas among the 40CD set - 2CDs reissued from fine Nuova Era discs and 3CDs recorded fresh by Brilliant's contract artist Leusink. Even if you only want the cantata CDs the box is still very reasonably priced!"