Vivaldi, Antonio was famously both a virtuoso performer and an impresario. The same can be said of Adrian Chandler, whose passionate advocacy has associated him with the Red Priest’s music like no other. Following last autumn’s release of The Rise of the North Italian Violin Concerto 1690–1740, Volume One: The Dawn of the Virtuoso (AV 2106), which earned Chandler and his ensemble La Serenissima an Editor’s Choice from Gramophone magazine, Avie offers the second in a three-volume series exploring the development of the violin and growing demand for virtuoso repertoire during the Italian baroque era, of which Vivaldi was undisputedly the zenith. Mirroring the highly successful format of Volume One, Chandler intersperses dazzling concerti with contemporaneous vocal works, illuminating these genres’ effects on each other in Vivaldi’s oeuvre. If Chandler’s thorough research is a multi-faceted crystal, his performances are the rainbow-hued shaft of light brightly shining through.
“…this is music brimming with ideas… All are played with La Serenissima's customary bright energy and enthusiasm, to which qualities are here added considerable subtlety of detail: listen to the way Chandler picks his way intelligently through the changing textural landscape of the first movement of RV243. Indeed, his playing throughout shows a smooth but vital tone, a fundamental likeability of sound and manner which is matched by soprano Mhairi Lawson in her five contrasted arias...” Gramophone
“Adrian Chandler… is given sensitive support by his string and continuo players among which the audible presence of a theorbo is welcome. Soprano Mhairi Lawson highlights the affective contrasts of the arias with tonal warmth and requisite virtuosity. In summary, an excellent disc.” ***** BBC Music Magazine
“'Vivaldi, Antonio: Virtuoso Impresario' examines links between Vivaldi's concertos and operas.