Bellezza Crudel - Vivaldi (2008)

Vivaldi

Barokkanerne, Per Hannisdal, Tone Wik, Alexandra Opsahl

Bellezza Crudel is a new addition to the NativeDSD Music catalog from 2L Music.  It is a selection of delightful cantatas and concertos written by Vivaldi that are performed by Tone Wik (soprano), Barokkanerne (period instruments), Per Hannisdal (bassoon) and Alexandra Opsahl (recorder). 

Reviewers say that this "well-programmed album intersperses two instrumental concertos amongst four attractive, concise soprano cantatas, all accorded the 2L label's exemplary sound."

2L Music notes "18th century Venice; where Hollywood meets Las Vegas; where the jet-set of Europe could conceal their identities behind masks and hurl themselves into the fake world of commedia dell’arte. Bellezza Crudel is a small selection of delightful cantatas and concertos. Vivaldi’s world is one of heartfelt, musical intensity, confirming the Venetians’ adoration of theatrical beauty."

Mike Birman at Audiophile Audition gives the album a perfect 5-star rating noting that "Vivaldi’s instrumental music is sufficiently well known after 60 years of popularization to be easily identifiable when heard out of its usual cultural context. Even television advertisements now use some of his more familiar themes as the basis for selling objects as diverse as diamonds and frozen pizza. One could say that his music has arrived.

These works are almost concertos for solo instrument and voice because of the musical equality with which Vivaldi showcases them. It is hard to imagine discovering a similarly effortless beauty of tone and emotional persuasiveness anywhere else, at least in the near future. This superlative recording will not soon be surpassed. Most strongly recommended. The sound on this album is beautifully focused and clear. Instruments and voice are presented as if they are performing in the same room as the listener. In its naturalness and warmth, the music has all of the best qualities of an analog vinyl record [plus surround sound!…Ed.]."

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Barokkanerne

Barokkanerne, a period instrument ensemble based in Oslo, maintains an extensive concert schedule and has appeared at numerous festivals, including the Oslo International Church Music Festival, the Kirsten Flagstad Festival, the Oslo Opera Festival, and the Arts Festival of North Norway. The ensemble has also contributed to a number of television and radio productions of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. “Empfindsamkeit” (LWC1038), its first release on the LAWO Classics label, has received glowing reviews both at home and abroad. Led by Alfredo Bernardini, it offers the listener symphonies and concertos of C. P. E. Bach.

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Bellezza Crudel - Vivaldi (2008)

Vivaldi

Barokkanerne, Per Hannisdal, Tone Wik, Alexandra Opsahl

    Positive Feedback

I have come to have a real love of the efforts of Morten Lindberg of 2L. Like my beloved Caro Mitis DSD albums, I can always count on one thing: a consistently superb sound. Like many of 2L's recordings, this newest issue "Bellezza Crudel" by Vivaldi, is a new discovery for me. These four cantatas, performed by Tone Wik and Barokkanerne are true musical gems of the highest order and are worth a serious listen to people who want to expand their knowledge of the prolific output of Vivaldi. While I know nothing of the performers and the ensemble (once again I am convinced that Norway is full of seriously talented musicians) I am impressed by the quality of Tone Wik's marvelous voice and the high-quality playing of the bassoonist Per Hannisdal and recorder player, Alexandra Opshal. As with all previous releases, the 2L sound is simply world class. The Jar Church (once again, besides great players, Norway is obviously full of killer recording venues) provides a wonderfully warm and intimate environment that lends itself to the superb sound. There is plenty of space around the musicians and there is a sense of palpability on this recording …totally wonderful! A most highly recommended recording!

Mark Wagner[read full review]

    Audiophile Audition -

Vivaldi’s instrumental music is sufficiently well known after 60 years of popularization to be easily identifiable when heard out of its usual cultural context. Even television advertisements now use some of his more familiar themes as the basis for selling objects as diverse as diamonds and frozen pizza. One could say that his music has arrived. Vivaldi’s vocal music is an entirely different matter. Other than the fairly well known Gloria most of his vast vocal output remains an undiscovered country, much of it still in manuscript form resting on dusty shelves in out-of-the-way libraries. We are still in the early stages of its rediscovery. The process may unfold with a similar mixture of surprise and awe such as followed the unexpected success of the famous 1950 Cetra recording of The Four Seasons. That recording introduced music lovers to a vast storehouse of Baroque instrumental music of surprisingly high quality. Recordings such as Belleza Crudel will do the same for Vivaldi’s vocal music; in this instance his superb cantatas. We know of 36 of these operatic short stories, most of which are written for soprano and basso continuo. This beautiful recording features four cantatas and two popular instrumental concertos in a lovely mixture that presents the two major aspects of Vivaldi’s musical persona. The concertos, as well as parts of the cantatas, feature Vivaldi the lyrical tone painter, skillfully utilizing the pictorial capabilities that are naturally inherent in Baroque music because of its essential structural freedom. The Four Seasons was not an isolated example of Vivaldi’s efforts in this area. Vivaldi’s other musical face offers an emotional nature of nearly unworldly diffidence. His music can be quietly passionate and sensitively evocative with its sure-handed portrayal of love’s cruelty, the often painful apprehension of beauty and the inevitable torment of loss. This is powerful and heartbreaking music, especially when combined with the sheer beauty of tone and lyrical expressiveness that is found in a superlative singer. Soprano Tone Wik has a voice of such forlorn beauty and ethereal purity that it perfectly suits Vivaldi’s theatricality. In its agility and accuracy, Ms. Wik’s voice serves as a perfect foil for Vivaldi’s limpid musical lines, brilliantly performed by the Norwegian period ensemble Barokkanerne. Vivaldi never overwhelms the ear. Rather he seduces it with disarming simplicity in the way he uses solo instruments such as the flute and recorder, the cello and the bassoon. These works are almost concertos for solo instrument and voice because of the musical equality with which Vivaldi showcases them. It is hard to imagine discovering a similarly effortless beauty of tone and emotional persuasiveness anywhere else, at least in the near future. This superlative recording will not soon be surpassed. Most strongly recommended. The sound on this album is beautifully focused and clear. Instruments and voice are presented as if they are performing in the same room as the listener. In its naturalness and warmth, the music has all of the best qualities of an analog vinyl record [plus surround sound!…Ed.].

Mike Birman[read full review]

    SA-CD.Net -

This well-programmed album intersperses two instrumental concertos amongst four attractive, concise soprano cantatas, all accorded the 2L label's exemplary sound. In an inspired analogy, the liner notes suggest that Vivaldi's "cantatas can be seen as the short story of the vocal arts- a distillation of the opera, which in its simplicity may have been suitable for tours, for use at concerts at court or musical soirées in the homes of affluent citizens." The young soprano Tone Wik sings vibrantly in these works, with a touch more vibrato than some others utilize in period performances. These cantatas are scarcely religious, as quotes from the opening lines demonstrate: 'What joy is longing, wretched heart'; 'The little butterfly flutters around the light, the bee flies around the flowers, and Clizia, in love follows her sun'; 'Though the forest, field, and brook thrive without soul, My tears have the power to move them to pity'; 'In the shadow of doubt, The constancy of my love loses some faith, and does not believe in beauty's flattery'. For whatever occasion Vivaldi composed these rousing and arousing works, the lyrics are clearly superior to those used by a modern chanteuse such as Carla Bruni -- and doubtless, Vivaldi's torch singer was assumed to have great vocal dexterity, to compensate for any lack of skills in the social climbing domain. In the 2L disc, the soloist plays an alto recorder. This work was originally composed for a recorder before its later adaptation for flute. The DXD recording is of demonstration standard. The sound shows a glorious richness in the modern 2L recording which outshines any competition. How much this is due to 2L's DXD recording process, or the use of state-of-the-art microphones and cabling is a moot point, one that most music lovers would be grateful for yet set aside when listening to the beautiful sounds captured on this release.

Ramesh[read full review]

Bellezza Crudel - Vivaldi (2008)

Vivaldi

Barokkanerne, Per Hannisdal, Tone Wik, Alexandra Opsahl

Digital Converters: Sphynx2, Merging Technologies
Editing Software: Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Executive Producers: Johan Nicolai Mohn and Morten Lindberg
Mastering Engineer: Morten Lindberg
Microphone Preamps: Millennia Media
Microphones: DPA
Producer: Morten Lindberg and Jørn Ole Pedersen
Recording Engineer: Morten Lindberg, Hans Peter L’Orange
Recording Location: Jar Church, February and April 2008
Recording Software: Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DXD
Sponsored By: Fond for lyd og bilde, Fond for utøvende kunstnere and MFOs vederlagsfond

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This album is available as ST+MCH download (Stereo + Multichannel)
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2L056: Bellezza Crudel - Vivaldi
01:04:05   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Cantata Rv 679 - Che Giova Il Sospirar, Povero Core - Recitativo I
Vivaldi
00:00:57   Select quality & channels above
2.
Cantata Rv 679 - Che Giova Il Sospirar, Povero Core - Aria - Nell'Aspro Tuo Periglio
Vivaldi
00:05:46   Select quality & channels above
3.
Cantata Rv 679 - Che Giova Il Sospirar, Povero Core - Recitativo Ii
Vivaldi
00:00:43   Select quality & channels above
4.
Cantata Rv 679 - Che Giova Il Sospirar, Povero Core - Aria - Cupido, Tu Vedi
Vivaldi
00:03:24   Select quality & channels above
5.
Cantata Rv 660 - La Farfalletta S'Aggira Al Lume - Aria - La Farfalletta S'Aggira Al Lume
Vivaldi
00:05:01   Select quality & channels above
6.
Cantata Rv 660 - La Farfalletta S'Aggira Al Lume - Recitativo
Vivaldi
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7.
Cantata Rv 660 - La Farfalletta S'Aggira Al Lume - Aria - Vedro Con Nero Velo
Vivaldi
00:06:06   Select quality & channels above
8.
Concerto Rv 484 - In Mi Minore, Per Fagotto, Archi E Basso Continuo - Allegro Poco
Vivaldi
00:04:12   Select quality & channels above
9.
Concerto Rv 484 - In Mi Minore, Per Fagotto, Archi E Basso Continuo - Andante
Vivaldi
00:03:09   Select quality & channels above
10.
Concerto Rv 484 - In Mi Minore, Per Fagotto, Archi E Basso Continuo - Allegro
Vivaldi
00:02:58   Select quality & channels above
11.
Cantata Rv 664 - Se Ben Vivono Senz'Alma - Aria - Se Ben Vivono Senz' Alma
Vivaldi
00:05:54   Select quality & channels above
12.
Cantata Rv 664 - Se Ben Vivono Senz'Alma - Recitativo
Vivaldi
00:00:56   Select quality & channels above
13.
Cantata Rv 664 - Se Ben Vivono Senz'Alma - Aria - Nella Tua Guancia Amorosa
Vivaldi
00:03:52   Select quality & channels above
14.
Concerto Rv 441 - In Do Minore, Per Flauto, Archi E Basso Continuo - Allegro Non Molto
Vivaldi
00:04:34   Select quality & channels above
15.
Concerto Rv 441 - In Do Minore, Per Flauto, Archi E Basso Continuo - Largo
Vivaldi
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16.
Concerto Rv 441 - In Do Minore, Per Flauto, Archi E Basso Continuo - Untitled
Vivaldi
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17.
Cantata Rv 678 - All'Ombra Di Sospetto - Recitativo I
Vivaldi
00:00:26   Select quality & channels above
18.
Cantata Rv 678 - All'Ombra Di Sospetto - Aria - Avezzo Non E Il Core
Vivaldi
00:04:41   Select quality & channels above
19.
Cantata Rv 678 - All'Ombra Di Sospetto - Recitativo Ii
Vivaldi
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20.
Cantata Rv 678 - All'Ombra Di Sospetto - Aria - Mentiti Contenti
Vivaldi
00:03:50   Select quality & channels above

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