BBC Music Magazine - Disc of the Month - October 2013
Adrian Chandler and La Serenissima, with virtuoso soloist mezzo-soprano Sally Bruce-Payne, continue their enlightening exploration of the music of Vivaldi focusing on two contrasting eras of the composer’s Venetian operatic career. Vivaldi specialists Adrian Chandler’s and La Serenissima’s hallmark qualities of erudition combined with crowd-pleasing performances have made them one of the best-selling and acclaimed period-instrument bands performing today. Recently their Gramophone Award winning album Vivaldi: The French Connection (AV2178) topped a Forbes list of How to Build a Top Quality Classical Music Library. Their last release, Venice by Night (AV2257) made the Top Ten of the UK Specialist Classical Chart. Their 11th release for Avie, Vivaldi: A Tale of Two Seasons once again presents the Red Priest in an engaging and fascinating light. Focusing on two Venetian operatic seasons of 1717 and 1733, the enlightening program juxtaposes the work of an eager young man with that of an older, more cunning composer who had adapted his music to that of the fashionable Neapolitan style.
“In three contemporary violin concertos, Chandler juxtaposes acrobatics and refinement...The three contrasting 1716-17 arias are performed flawlessly: Argene's brief yet furious 'Ferri, ceppi, sangue, morte' shows off Sally Bruce-Payne's pinpoint division” Gramophone
***** “Chandler's playing is crisply articulated, tonally secure and imaginative, and the lively responses of the instrumentalists of La Serenissima give uninterrupted pleasure. These are musicians who quite simply love their Vivaldi and their spirit is contagious.” BBC Music Magazine