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Hyperion Records

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Venice by Moonlight (detail) by Henry Pether (fl1828-1862)
Private Collection / © Christie's Images / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67553
Recording details: April 2005
Cadogan Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: July 2006
Total duration: 10 minutes 34 seconds

'Cohen combines an easy and soulful tone with incisive precision and agility' (Gramophone)

'Cohen is an expressive player with a feeling for articulate phrasing who responds readily to the poetry of slow movements … the King's Consort under Robert King's direction from the harpsichord offers stylish and alert support throughout' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The playing … is first rate—phrases are beautifully wrought and each of the works is given a distinctive flavour. This is a recital to savour!' (Early Music Review)

'If there is any recording that might persuade our editor that there is some virtue to early music performance practice, this might be it. I find myself unusually involved by this release, in several respects, and I recommend it to your attention … the cello seems to have inspired him to write some of his deepest music—and I am not speaking registrally. This is a good selection from his 28 concertos for the instrument, performed with satisfying intensity' (American Record Guide)

'Cohen is an intelligent cellist … and in the slow movements he's a dream, fashioning an Adagio of deep, soulful beauty out of the simple materials provided in the early RV416. The uncomplicated orchestral playing provides the perfect backdrop for Cohen's graceful virtuosity, of which I'd certainly like to hear more' (International Record Review)

'Very delectable' (The Times)

'Cohen finds constant variety and individuality in these works' (The Strad)

'Lovely, extensive, crisp, melodic lines from The King's Consort strings … this album makes a sterling debut in my book' (Audiophile Audition, USA)

'Jonathan Cohen and Robert King make an excellent team, and the interplay with The King's Consort is often incisive and exciting. It's a fine disc. A second volume of Vivaldi's cello concertos would be most welcome' (ClassicalSource.com)

'Jonathan Cohen's performances are nothing short of phenomenal; his dazzling agility and artistic insight truly make the cello sing … a disc to relish and enjoy in excellent sound and exemplary annotations' (Classical.net)

Cello Concerto in A minor, RV420
composer
probably circa 1711

Andante  [3'30]
Adagio  [3'36]
Allegro  [3'28]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
RV420 begins strikingly with a solo accompanied only by continuo that precedes the first ritornello (this term denotes an orchestral refrain). Such openings, though relatively uncommon, remained an option for Vivaldi throughout his career; the best-known comparable instance is the cadenza-like opening of the D minor concerto Op 3 No 11 (RV565). Its slow movement, dominated by an orchestral theme in fiercely jagged rhythm, is in a miniature version of the ritornello form normally employed for the fast outer movements. A noteworthy feature of the tempestuous finale is that it has five, rather than the more usual four, ritornellos.

from notes by Michael Talbot © 2006

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