Vivaldi - Music For The Chapel Of The Pietá /Chandler, La Serenissima
"This follow-up to La Serenissima’s anthology ‘Vivaldi in Arcadia’, is particularly interesting for the Concertos RV212 and RV554a, which have been reconstructed by Adrian Chandler. The former is a violin concerto, composed in 1712 for a festival in Padua and played by Vivaldi himself. A set of parts surviving in Dresden was damaged; the booklet note remarks, seemingly without irony, that this was ‘whilst in safe-keeping’ during the Second World War. Chandler has added the harmony here and there, and selected one of the three slow movements and two cadenzas. The result is a delight... In Laudate pueri Dominum, Mhairi Lawson sings with great passion, wonderfully responsive to the meaning of the words. In the surprisingly meditative Gloria, her vibrant soprano and Chandler’s violin sigh like lovers.The Salve regina is just as good...
Chandler’s direction is as gripping as his playing. As ever, one is lost in admiration at the skills of the girls who sang and played at the Ospedale della Pietà, to whom this is a noble tribute."
- Richard Lawrence, GRAMOPHONE
"The mastermind behind this terrific CD, Adrian Chandler, is not only Director of La Serenissima and a violinist of flair and distinction; he is also a meticulous scholar, as his excellent booklet notes reveal. He has clearly engaged in much fruitful research in preparing for this recording, even carrying out imaginative reconstruction where necessary.
The result is a rich musical treat. All of this music was written by the ‘Red Priest’ for use in the Chapel of the Pietá, the Convent School for orphans (or ‘foundlings’) in Venice. The music on the generously filled disc consists of three instrumental concerti and two solo vocal cantatas, Laudate Pueri and Salve Regina. These are sung by the Scottish soprano Mhairi Lawson, who turns in thoroughly delightful performances... This, and all the other instrumental music, is realised superbly by the players of La Serenissima, the enlarged chamber ensemble named after the city of its inspiration; the name being, of course, a poetic soubriquet for Venice itself. The string sound is pure and bold, yet capable of great subtlety when required. They are underpinned by a continuo section of great richness: the harpsichord of Joseph McHardy, the theorbo (bass lute) of Richard Sweeney, and the organ playing of Robert Howarth.
Despite the scholarship, there is nothing ‘academic’ about the performance of this music. Indeed, it is exuberant and often full of élan and humour."
- Gwyn Parry-Jones, MusicWeb International
Catalog Number: AV2063
Composer: Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor: Adrian Chandler
Orchestra/Ensemble: La Serenissima
Performer: Adrian Chandler, Mhairi Lawson, Robert Howarth, Sarah McMahon