Click here to return to the CD

Whole Note Magazine

December 2002

Nightmare in Venice
Red Priest

Dorian DOR-90305

It’s frightening how skillfully Red Priest is able to take Vivaldi’s The Nightmare Concerto and turn every dramatic moment into an opportunity to highlight the fantastical aspects of the music. The unusual The Furies by Nicholas LeStrange in itself offers an expressive vehicle for Adams and his crew (Julia Bishop, violin; Angela East, cello; Howard Beach, harpsichord).

Combining his phenomenal virtuosic talents with a crazy flair for hot-dogging, recorder player Piers Adams still acknowledges the stylistic fashion of the French, English and Italian pieces repre-sented here. It makes one wonder though if he might be an escaped maniac recorder patient?

Adam’s technique is astounding. His frothy rendition of Vivaldi’s Concerto Grosso in A Minor RV 522 is demonic, playful, and sexy. It’s difficult to imagine any more ornamentation than what I heard in Leclair’s Suite from Scylla et Glaucus, again with incredibly convincing aplomb on Adam’s part.

And do we really need another recording of Corelli’s La Folia? No? Wrong answer. Red Priest’s own Fantasy based on this famous piece is outrageous, raucous, and radical, but still within the realm of historical possibility.

For those of you who haven’t heard the bold and daring style of Red Priest, be prepared for a musical roller-coaster-catch-me-if-you-can ride. The music is familiar, but still unexpected, exhilarating, breathtaking, played with a wicked sense of humour. This is the most entertaining early music recording I have ever heard.

Frank T. Nakashima

Click here to return to the CD