The Winged Lion - Palladian Ensemble - Classic CD
Some of the connections with Venice may be a little tenuous, and this particular Winged Lion even circles over Spain clutching a Venetian guitar. The Palladian Ensemble's debut disc was called An Excess of Pleasure; the sequal offers nothing less! From two gutsy Vivaldi concertos via the dashing caprice of Santiago de Murcia's La Jota to a canzon by Cavalli which discharges itself in a haunting echo of Monteverdi's Lamento della Ninfa, the programme continually surprises and enchants. The playing too.
On nearly 70 minutes of outstanding music ther are hardly two sour notes, but technical assuredness is only the start. Crystal clear articulation makes the most of lithe counterpoint, a sensuous hedonism reinforces the Venetian motto Viver Felice - live happily - and for all the evident thought that has gone into these performances, there's a freshness that makes even well-worn patterns sound newly discovered.