sat 25/05/2024

La Serenissima, Cadogan Hall | reviews, news & interviews

La Serenissima, Cadogan Hall

La Serenissima, Cadogan Hall

Vivaldi specialists fail to translate recorded excellence to the concert hall

La Serenissima: How many concertos is too many concertos?

According to the wit of either Dallapiccola or Stravinsky (history is divided), Vivaldi was responsible for writing not 600 concertos, but the same concerto 600 times. It’s a joke that has lingered stubbornly in the popular imagination. Had the concerto in question been one of the Four Seasons or indeed one from L’Estro Armonico I don’t think anyone would be objecting; it’s the workaday Vivaldi, those throwaway concertos composed with his eyes on his purse and his mind on his dinner that have so diluted his reputation. Doing their best to set the record straight, erstwhile Vivaldi champions La Serenissima last night presented a programme comprised solely of concertos.

According to the wit of either Dallapiccola or Stravinsky (history is divided), Vivaldi was responsible for writing not 600 concertos, but the same concerto 600 times. It’s a joke that has lingered stubbornly in the popular imagination. Had the concerto in question been one of the Four Seasons or indeed one from L’Estro Armonico I don’t think anyone would be objecting; it’s the workaday Vivaldi, those throwaway concertos composed with his eyes on his purse and his mind on his dinner that have so diluted his reputation. Doing their best to set the record straight, erstwhile Vivaldi champions La Serenissima last night presented a programme comprised solely of concertos.

Soft-grained and slightly limp, it was the sort of generic period sound that has fallen out of fashion

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