Vivaldi - La Serenissima - International Record Review
The British group La Serenissima is certainly no stranger to Vivaldi. It was formed in 1994 specifically for a performance of Vivaldi's La Senna Festaggiante and, as its publicity proudly proclaims, 'works like the Four Seasons form an important part of La Serenissima's repertoire'. This is its third commercial disc devoted to the music of Vivaldi and its first collaboration with Linn. Certainly the booklet, with beautifully clear tracking details, texts and translations and interesting notes by La Serenissima's director and principal violinist, Adrian Chandler, look impressive and implies authoritative and well-prepared performances. And that's what we get. Of the three instrumental concertos on the disc, the two for violin and continuo have been reconstructed by Chandler from manuscripts and appear in the catalogue for the first time. In these Chandler dominates with clear-headed , no nonsense, virtuosity which seems ideally suites to Vivaldi's businesslike writing. Musically La Serenissima stands up well, with playing full of life and bracing energy. Mhairi Lawson [has] a rich and truly lovely voice, always beautifully controlled and with an almost instrumental quality in its clarity of pitch and articulation - brilliantly demonstrated in the opening of Tremori al braccio. Impressive music-making, perceptive Vivaldi performances.