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<<  -- 2 --  Robert Anderson    FERTILE IMAGINATION


'Nightmare in Venice' is more questionable as title for this CD. Vivaldi was notoriously money-conscious, became rich and died in poverty; but one thinks more readily of the indigent Wagner, somehow managing to produce Tristan Act 2 with the Austrian police never too far from his elbow, or indeed of the infatuated Aschenbach and the beautiful Tadzio enacting a waking nightmare that ends in Mann's and Britten's Death in Venice. More to the point, Red Priest almost gave me a nightmare in Kensington. Having come towards the end of the CD, I was listening with admiration bordering on incredulity to the group's Fantasy on 'La Folia', wondering at the helter-skelter wizardry of the playing when suddenly Angela East began playing the Elgar cello concerto. Elgar was indeed in Venice briefly during the spring of 1909. Whether he had nightmares Lady Elgar does not relate; but he is on record as having drawn inspiration for the middle movements of Symphony No 2 while around St Mark's. It cannot be said he makes an obvious bed-fellow for Corelli, but Red Priest's imagination is nothing if not fertile [listen -- track 25, 3:33-4:30].

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Copyright © 7 May 2003 Robert Anderson, London, UK


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