Jaap ter Linden

Vivaldi: Complete Cello Sonatas

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Amid the sea of compositions Antonio Vivaldi left for the violin, the Red Priest was also gracious enough to enhance the cellist's repertoire with a nice assortment of concertos and even a handful of sonatas with basso continuo. These works, while satisfying and pleasing, are far from virtuoso works and as such have often been relegated to serve as teaching pieces for high school and college students. In the right hands, however, these nine sonatas can still engage and excite listeners. Cellist Jaap ter Linden would seem to be ideally suited for this task. His distinguished career includes cello performances with many of the world's top Baroque orchestras, as well taking on conducting duties with the same. These facts make it all the more surprising to find that his performance of Vivaldi's gems for the cello lack enthusiasm. There are no glaring technical deficits from any of the performers on the CD. Intonation is generally good, as is the continuo realization. Ter Linden's execution, however, is painfully dull and gives listeners the impression that he's done nothing more than just sit down and play the notes. Much more energy and vitality is needed if these sonatas ever hope to be more than just teaching pieces and background music.

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