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  • chrisdumigan

Christopher Parkening : plays Vivaldi, Warlock and Praetorius: CD

VIVALDI: Concerto in D, RV 93); Concerto in C, RV 425; Trio in C, RV 82: WARLOCK: Capriol (Suite for Guitar and String Orchestra): PRAETORIUS: Suite in D from Terpsichore

Christopher Parkening and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.

EMI/Angel Records • CDC-5-55052-2

This fine and clearly recorded and balanced CD begins with one of Vivaldi’s most well – known works the Concerto in D originally for lute, but of course easily transferable to the guitar. As with the other Vivaldi pieces here, it is three movements in length and being one of his most famous works has been recorded many times in its guitar guise, and it receives a superb performance on this recording.

Then, a complete change of style occurs with Peter Warlock’s Capriol Suite for guitar and string orchestra, of which this is the first recording in this format. It was originally composed for piano duet, with Warlock later scoring it for both string and complete orchestras. In a pseudo – Renaissance style, this 6 – movement work, now shortened into four movements, is superbly suited to the guitar and receives a wonderful, energetic and emotive performance from the players. The opening Basse – Danse leads to a beautiful Pavane, then another dance in the form of Tordion full of engaging melodies and very Renaissance –like harmonies. The leaping Bransle with many strong accents that really bring out the rhythm is the conclusion to what is a real find for the guitar fraternity!

The next two works are two more popular works by Vivaldi, both existing in a number of other recordings and like the previous Concerto, were originally written for the Lute, with the Trio originally scored for violin, Lute and Continuo. Both receive fine performances from Parkening and the Academy.

The final work is a solo of seven movements from the vast collection called Terpsichore, originally published in 1612 as an instrumental compendium of over 300 dances, which were arranged rather than composed by Michael Praetorius,, and based largely on French dance repertoire. Here we get 3 Courantes, a Ballet, a Gavotte, a Spagnoletta,a Bransle with its Double ( a form of variation), and a final Volte that finishes this set off in a superbly happy finale all fascinating pieces each with truly something to say.

This was a lovely recording of some beautifully varied music, superbly performed by Christopher Parkening and the Academy ,and one which could be played time and again, and still be interesting and worth hearing. One to look out for, definitely!

Chris Dumigan

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