Music and Vision homepage READ Andrew Schartmann's Musical Tidbits

CD Spotlight

Dazzling virtuosity

Maurice Steger plays Vivaldi concerti -
by DAVID THOMPSON

'... the power to surprise as well as to beguile and delight.'

Vivaldi - Steger - I Barocchisti. (p) 2000 Claves Records

 

At those times when the musical palate is a little jaded, and in need of refreshing new enlightenment or surprising novelty, I guess that few people would reach instinctively for a disc of Vivaldi concerti. One might well preconceive such a prospect as so much bespoke baroque-by-the-yard, drifting by inoffensively but unmemorably. So let me say, hand on heart, that the present disc is a fast-track road to Damascus. It is stunningly good.

The young Swiss soloist, Maurice Steger is clearly already a world musician, and here he uses his astonishing technique in the service of music he clearly believes in passionately. Even so, he must be considered primus inter pares with I Barocchisti, the fine and equally talented ensemble with which he is happily paired. Together, their single-minded commitment and dazzling virtuosity reveals anew Vivaldi's infinite variety and sometimes quite avant-garde originality of effect. These are not cosy, respectful performances, and so the music emerges with the power to surprise as well as to beguile and delight. A special revelation is the imaginative and varied use of a wide range of continuo instruments, which add colours and textures that enhance musical perception and listening pleasure.

Praise, too, for the programme planning, which also ensures the listener's attention. Steger gives us five varied concerti on four instruments, and the string orchestra have two to themselves, so there is ideal contrast, making for a real feeling of being at a concert.

Continue >>

Copyright © 2 January 2002 David Thompson, Eastwood, Essex, UK

 

-------

CD INFORMATION - CLAVES CD 50-2010

PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM AMAZON

PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM CROTCHET

 

 << Music & Vision home      Recent reviews       Ernest Bloch >>

Download a free realplayer 

For help listening to the sound extracts here,
please refer to our questions & answers page.