Compilations take their fair share of justified criticism, but sometimes you just feel like listening to one type of music -- maybe slow music -- maybe slow Baroque music -- maybe slow Vivaldi. If that happens to be the case, then this Virgin Classics album of Vivaldi certainly fits the bill and, as compilations go, is nicely put together. Of course, it wouldn't be Vivaldi if it didn't have some Four Seasons, but only four of 18 tracks are devoted to this popular work, letting listeners branch out into the breadth of Vivaldi's other compositions. Virgin Classics also does listeners a favor by using strong performances by ensembles like the London Chamber Orchestra and the Taverner Choir, and exceptional soloists like countertenor David Daniels. Even the progression of keys from one track to another seems well thought out, never jarring listeners with radical, sudden changes. While the surrounding movements of these Adagios are equally gratifying and fulfilling, anyone looking specifically for some calming, laidback Baroque music would certainly do well with this album.
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