"This is the 1980 recording of L'Estro Armonico (originally released, I believe, in 1981). This double-decker cd also includes the 1977 recording of the Six Flute Sonatas op.10, making this a great bargain. Compared to the boring recording by Marriner (which also featured Hogwood performing) and other "romantic" interpretations, it's a joy to hear Vivaldi played with such joy and vigor. The previous reviewer reported that he had the 1981 Decca recording by Hogwood and wasn't sure if this was the same: rest assured, this is the same 1980 recording (released in '81) and remains the best. One would by hard pressed to find a brighter, more vibrant recording of L'Estro Armonico."
Yum, Very sweet.
J. Wong | Aberdeen, WA United States | 01/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music recorded my 1981 CD of L'estro armonico, under the Decca label (L'Oiseau-Lyre), which had begun to skip a few bars in a finicky CD player. After listening online to excerpts, I thought I had found a reissue. I bought the disc and must conclude that this 1998 Hogwood didn't match the Hogwood of 1981. Hogwood has matured significantly and I like what he has done here with tempos and textures as well as passages that didn't appear in the '81 edition. I absolutely enjoyed this set on a pair of Sennheiser HD535 headphones after everyone else had gone to sleep. Having the two Hogwoods is like having two Ferraris from different years in your garage.
I disliked the Biondi rendition of L'estro armonico. Too schizoid--The tempos and volumes swing violently, like riding in a stick shift car with a driver who can't figure out the clutch.
The Flute concerti seemed to me a bonus when I received the set, but I have grown to absolutely love them."
A Refreshingly Brisk and Atmospheric Recording of Two Vivald
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 11/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Vivaldi's 'L'Estro Armonico', a series of twelve concerti strings and continuo with various soloists - 1 to 4 violins, violins and cello in all combinations of numbers - are presented here in its entirety with the added pleasure of Vivaldi's six flute concerti. The result is a most satisfying 2 CD issue that grows more beautiful with added listenings.
The performances are conducted by Christopher Hogwood with the Academy of Ancient Music, a partnership well coordinated both in performance and on recordings. Needless to say the performances are accurate for the period, immaculately played and enjoy a full, rich sound from the recording engineers. Various soloists step out of the group as necessary and the integration of the solo parts with he ensemble is consistently well-balanced and in fine conversation as only Vivaldi could achieve.
The addition of the six flute concerti might seem too much of a good thing when reading the label, but the performances are so exhilarating with Stephen Preston that are far from repetitive and are individual jewels.
For a treasure trove of Vivaldi this set is generous and brilliantly performed. Grady Harp, November 05"
Lots of beautiful music, incl. the A minor concerto from Suz
Bambi Robinson | Missouri | 03/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this double CD solely so that my young violinist daughter could listen to the Vivaldi A Minor Violin Concerto of Suzuki vols. 4 and 5. We not only got that concerto - beautifully performed - but also eleven more violin concertos and six flute concertos. The playing is exquisite, which is quite what one would expect from Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music.
I recommend these CDs to all who like Vivaldi, and especially to those who are intermediate violinists working on the Vivaldi A Minor. It's a treat to hear the music performed with a great orchestra, rather than the usual piano accompaniment found on the Suzuki CDs."