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Track(s) taken from CDA67553

Cello Concerto in G minor, RV416

probably around 1711

Jonathan Cohen (cello), The King's Consort, Robert King (conductor)
Recording details: April 2005
Cadogan Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: July 2006
Total duration: 11 minutes 35 seconds

Cover artwork: Venice by Moonlight (detail) by Henry Pether (fl1828-1862)
Private Collection / © Christie's Images / Bridgeman Images


‘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’ (Classical Source)

‘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)
RV416, copied by Horneck, is not universally agreed by Vivaldi experts to be an early work. The sticking point is the employment for the second and third movements of a ‘large 3’ time signature that stands in both instances for 3/4 metre. In Vivaldi’s autograph manuscripts the reduction of triple-metre time signatures to ‘3’ is observable only from the early 1720s. However, there is a possibility that Horneck, when copying, introduced the simplified time signature of his own volition: it is certainly true that this form was at the time more current in Germany and France than in Italy. In stylistic respects, the concerto conforms perfectly to the model provided by RV420. Its outer movements exhibit a five-ritornello structure, and the slow movement is in miniaturized ritornello form. An interesting detail is that the slow movement, instead of moving to a contrasting key, remains in the tonic, G minor. Such ‘homotonal’ treatment—famous from Haydn’s adoption of the principle half a century later—is unusual for the time, except in chamber sonatas based on dance movements. Vivaldi’s partiality for homotonality is perhaps connected with his strong drive towards thematic (and, one might say, emotional) unity.

from notes by Michael Talbot © 2006

Tous les experts vivaldiens ne reconnaissent pas RV416, copié par Horneck, comme une œuvre ancienne. Le point de friction concerne l’emploi, dans les deuxième et troisième mouvements, d’un signe de la mesure à «grand 3», qui traduit à chaque fois un mètre à 3/4. Or, les manuscrits autographes de Vivaldi ne recourent à la réduction des signes de mesure ternaire à «3» qu’à partir du début des années 1720. Il se peut cependant que Horneck ait introduit le signe simplifié de son propre chef, en recopiant l’œuvre—d’autant que cette forme était alors plus courante en Allemagne et en France qu’en Italie. Sur le plan stylistique, RV416 est parfaitement conforme au modèle fourni par RV420. Ses mouvements extrêmes affichent une structure à cinq ritornellos et le mouvement lent est une forme ritornello miniaturisée mais, détail intéressant, reste à la tonique (sol mineur) au lieu de passer à une tonalité contrastée. Un tel traitement «homotonal»—Haydn, en l’adoptant cinquante ans plus tard, rendra ce principe célèbre—est inhabituel pour l’époque, sauf dans les sonates de chambre fondées sur des mouvements de danse. Le penchant de Vivaldi pour l’homotonalité tient peut-être à sa forte propension à l’unité thématique (et, pourrait-on dire, émotionnelle).

extrait des notes rédigées par Michael Talbot © 2006
Français: Hypérion

RV416 liegt in Kopie von Horneck vor, und die Forschung ist sich nicht einig darüber, ob es sich dabei wirklich um ein Frühwerk handelt. Diese Zweifel werden mit dem Vorkommen der „großen 3“ begründet, die im zweiten und dritten Satz jeweils als Taktbezeichnung für einen 3/4-Takt steht. In Vivaldis autographen Manuskripten ist die Reduzierung einer Dreiertaktbezeichnung auf „3“ erst ab den frühen 1720er Jahren zu beobachten. Es ist jedoch möglich, dass Horneck beim Kopieren die Taktbezeichnung von sich aus vereinfachte: in Deutschland und Frankreich war diese Praxis zu dem Zeitpunkt weiter verbreitet als in Italien. Was die stilistischen Merkmale angeht, so ist dieses Konzert dem vorangehenden (RV420) sehr ähnlich. Die Außensätze haben jeweils fünf Ritornelli und der langsame Satz ist eine verkleinerte Ritornelloform. Interessanterweise steht der langsame Satz nicht in einer anderen Tonart sondern bleibt in der Tonika g-Moll. Eine solche „homotonale“ Behandlung—ein Prinzip, das Haydn sich ein halbes Jahrhundert später zu eigen machte—ist für die Zeit ungewöhnlich, mit der Ausnahme von Kammersonaten, die auf Tanzsätzen basieren. Vivaldis Vorliebe für Homotonalität hängt möglicherweise mit seinem besonderen Bemühen um thematische (und man könnte auch sagen emotionale) Einheitlichkeit zusammen.

aus dem Begleittext von Michael Talbot © 2006
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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