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The Elgar is arrangement with a vengeance, nor is he credited for his contribution. Since Red Priest consists of multiple recorders (Piers Adams), violin, cello, and quietly pattering harpsichord, all the other composers are equally, if effectively, arranged. Vivaldi is represented by two concertos, the A minor one Bach made into an organ concerto, and 'La Notte', not quite the nightmare the team pretends it to be. One of its 'fantasma' movements, though, gives a vivid impression of how Red Priest presents the music, with never a dull moment and entertainment value paramount [listen -- track 4, 0:00-0:43]. Purcell's music to The Fairy Queen is as near as he got to A Midsummer Night's Dream. That he was some distance away is clear from the 'Fairy Dance' in Act 3. The performers had arrived as a couple of swans on a river spanned by a bridge made up of two dragons. Red Priest gives them staggering agility [listen -- track 16, 0:00-0:43]. The Scylla and Glaucus extracts by the elder Leclair are mainly concerned with the machinations of Circe, who is fanatically determined to thwart the love of hero and heroine, a nymph and marine god. Just as they are expecting the descent of Cupid, it is Circe who appears in a cloud. With the help of her demons, she makes the moon tumble out of the sky. Scylla eventually becomes a hazardous promontory. This time infernal spirits have conjured a real nightmare [listen -- track 22, 0:00-1:02].

Copyright © 7 May 2003 Robert Anderson, London, UK


Nightmare in Venice - Red Priest

DOR-90305 DDD HDCD NEW RELEASE 65'54" 2002 Dorian Recordings

Red Priest: Piers Adams, recorders; Julia Bishop, violin; Angela East, cello; Howard Beach, harpsichord

Vivaldi: The Nightmare Concerto ('La Notte') in G minor RV 439; Robert Johnson and Nicholas LeStrange: English Fantasy Suite; Giovanni Paolo Cima: Sonata a Tre in A minor; Vivaldi: Concerto Grosso in A minor RV 522; Purcell: Suite from 'The Fairy Queen'; Dario Castello: Sonata Decima; Jean-Marie Leclair: Suite from 'Scylla et Glaucus'; Red Priest: Fantasy on Corelli's 'La Folia'. All arrangements by Red Priest




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