Monday, 30 May 2016
Il Diario di Chiara - Europa Galante/Biondi
A cracking disc
This is an absolutely cracking CD of Italian baroque music. It is based upon three concerti written for Chiara, and outstanding violinist at the Ospedale della Pieta with which Vivaldi was especially associated. There is a Vivaldi concerto here, but also two other concerti by Martinelli and sinfonias by several other composers. Chiara collected a number of these pieces in her diary - hence the disc's title.
What makes this disc special is the playing of Europa Galante and Fabio Biondi. They give it real zing and sparkle in the livelier movements but also bring out the genuine beauty and emotion in the slower movements. One reviewer in The Guardian described this as being "a bit hard-driven" but I disagree; I think it's vigorous, passionate, tender and thoughtful as appropriate. The musicians play this music as though it really meant something so that even the slightly less distinguished works are still well worth hearing.
Beautifully recorded and presented by Glossa (as always), I think this is a really good disc all round and I can recommend this very warmly.