The Avison Ensemble - Vivaldi: Concerti Opus 8 - BBC Music

Long gone are the days when the only concerto' heard from this set of 12 were The Four Seasons' and this recording is the latest in a fairly long list. Like many of those, this rendition is played on period instruments, which have often come to mean strong attack, primarycolours and sharply articulated phrasing. Not here. The Avison Ensemble takes a gentle approach, especially in the slow movements: the barking dog in ‘Spring' is not in the least threatening and the movement conjures up a sleepy pastoral scene.

At the outset of ‘Autumn', we hear long bows and sustained texture, quite unlike the sound that might come from Il Giardino Armonico, for example, and even ‘Winter' is ingratiating rather than spiky. There is rhythmic vivacity in the outer movements of all the concertos, but Pavlo Beznosiuk has plainly chosen an approach that suits his naturally mellifluous style. There is little of the rubato that has become such a feature of Baroque playing, and the continuo is often unobtrusive. The relatively resonant recording smooths the edges even more. 

BBC Music
01 October 2012