Purcell Quartet

Vivaldi: In Furore

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Vivaldi: In furore, featuring Catherine Bott and the Purcell Quartet, is one of the best Baroque offerings to be found in Chandos' early music series, Chaconne.

In furore is as outstanding a disc of Antonio Vivaldi's sacred solo music as one is likely to find; Catherine Bott sails over the spindly textures of the Purcell Quartet like a siren's song aloft in the night, as sailors struggle with a storm-tossed vessel. Bott's voice is sweet, airy, and transparent, whereas the Purcell Quartet keeps itself profitably busy in the two vocal motets (the title work and In Furore iustissimae irae). The Quartet lets it all hang out in the Concerto a Quattro Op. 12/3, RV 124, the Concerto Madrigalesco, RV129, and the Sonata and Sinfonia al Santo Sepulcro, RVs 130 and 169, respectively. The Sinfonia al Santo Sepolcro is heard in its most bracing performance here -- this unusual little piece begins on a pungent discord, the minor second, and the Purcell Quartet makes you feel it, like a dagger going in. These pieces are often played with full string sections, but were intended as chamber concerti; the Purcell Quartet definitively makes the case that smaller dimensions fit the music more comfortably.

Vivaldi: In furore also includes excellent notes by topmost Vivaldi scholar Michael Talbot, in itself a sign of quality. If you take a long, hard look at your music collection and decide you have only room for three or four Vivaldi discs, Vivaldi: In furore should be one of them. At one point Chandos dropped this title from its active catalog, but it swiftly returned with a snazzier, more exotic front cover under the title Vivaldi: Laudate Pueri, Dominum

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