Jupiter / Thomas Dunford

Vivaldi

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"Brace yourself for some exquisitely dizzy spells, at the hand of Jupiter," the booklet notes here confidently proclaim. The simple album title Vivaldi is confident in its own way, and indeed, among all the thousands of Vivaldi releases on the market, this one by the chamber group Jupiter stands out. There are some exceptionally strong soloists, both vocal and instrumental. Sample Peter Whelan in the lovely slow movement of the Bassoon Concerto in G minor, RV 495, and there is mezzo-soprano Lea Desandre, who is not to all tastes but strongly to some. Sampling one of her arias will determine which camp you fall into. None of these soloists gets credit on the cover, which mentions only Jupiter and its leader, Thomas Dunford. This is likely because, despite all the solo firepower on display, it is lutenist Dunford who has shaped the style. He brings a continuo-heavy sound that's flexible and animates the punchy, percussive, somewhat improvisatory spirit of the whole. Ironically, the least successful of the solos is Dunford's, in the familiar Lute Concerto in D major, RV 93, which is over-ornamented and oversaturated with rubato in a piece that derives its appeal from simplicity. The apparently original popular song We Are the Ocean at the end also is questionable; it seems to come out of nowhere. This is ostensibly a bonus track, but with online presentation, that distinction is disappearing. Nevertheless, this is impressively original Vivaldi with many gorgeous moments.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Farnace, RV 711
1 10:49 Amazon
Juditha Triumphans, RV 644
2 03:15 Amazon
Bassoon Concerto in G Minor, RV 495
3 03:28 Amazon
4 03:01 Amazon
5 03:09 Amazon
Nisi Dominus, RV 608
6 04:35 Amazon
Juditha Triumphans, RV 644
7 05:43 Amazon
Cello Concerto in G Minor, RV 416
8 03:38 Amazon
9 03:26 Amazon
10 02:55 Amazon
Giustino, RV 717
11 06:03 Amazon
Lute Concerto in D Major, RV 93
12 03:21 Amazon
13 03:58 Amazon
14 02:25 Amazon
L' Olimpiade, RV 725
15 07:12 Amazon
Griselda, RV 718
16 06:27 Amazon
17 04:31 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick