All About Jazz
VIVALDI: THE FOUR SEASONS
Red Priest is a group of very intelligent period instrument specialists with a red-hot wicked sense of humor. After the release of the group's two previous recordings, Priest on the Run and Nightmare in Venice, the group went on tour with what was touted as their highly controversial interpretation of Vivaldi's first four concertos from his Il Cimento dell' Armenia e dell'invenzione (The trial of harmony and invention), opus 8. As a sub-collection, these concertos are known collectively as Le Quattro Stagioni (The Four Seasons).
The Four Seasons
were written as violin concertos. In Red Priest, the virtuoso violin
parts are purloined by the crafty Adams, who leaves the pieces' foundation
to his rhythm section of violinist Julia Bishop, cellist Angela East
and harpsichordist Howard Beach.
A virtuoso Piers Adams is. Micala Petri was forever the reigning queen of recorder performance for many years. I suspect that a case could be made for her to still be if one restricts their consideration to "straight" interpretations of the baroque canon. But, my vote now goes to Piers Adams, who irreverently and intelligently, deconstructs these war horses and provides the listener and experience as fresh as a spring strawberry bursting on the roof of your mouth.