The Avison Ensemble - Vivaldi: Concerti Opus 8 - The Strad

By contrast, Pavlo Beznosiuk and the Avison Ensemble offer The Four Seasons in the context of the complete set of twelve concertos Op.8 and present perceptive performances that are brimming with energy, lyricism, spontaneity and, where relevant, convincing extra-musical detail. Rhythms in the fast movements are consistently resilient, and the ensemble is crisp, vital and disciplined, as in the finale of 'Autumn' and the powerful opening movements of nos.6, 7 and 10. Beznosiuk's formidable technique is well to the fore, particularly in the finales of 'Winter' and no.8. His sense of fantasy and style is completely at the music's service, especially in those slow movements using chamber forces such as nos.9, 10 and 12, which are striking also for their colourful continuo contribution; and his rubato bends the pulse without breaking it, as in the Largo of no.8, where he caresses the solo line sensuously, yet without unstylish indulgence. There may be moments when more polish would not have been amiss, but this is music making that combines joyful vitality with stylish authority. The close recording is warm and detailed.

The Strad
09 October 2013