VIVALDI: CONCERTOS & OTHER WORKS - Eliot Fisk, Frederic Hand, Albert Fuller, Louise Schulman, Orchestra of St. Luke's

Eliot Fisk, guitar
Frederic Hand, guitar
Louise Schulman, viola
Albert Fuller, harpsichord
Orchestra of St. Luke

This 1992 recording by American guitarist Eliot Fisk is among the fine series of releases by the MusicMasters label. It falls into the category of strong and definitely crowd-pleasing recordings that potential buyers should nevertheless sample well; it's not to everyone's taste. Playing Vivaldi on the guitar (he wrote no music for the instrument) is not an issue; it's been done many times before, and as Fisk puts it in the interview-format booklet (in English only), "A Baroque performer had so many plucked instruments to choose from." His transcriptions from lute or mandolin to guitar are pretty straightforward, and he's a technically superb player. He outlines some of the procedures he uses in the booklet; one is adding bass lines, which gives a lovely shadowy quality to the famous middle movement of the Concerto for lute and orchestra in D major, RV 93 (track 8). Some of the performances, however, go a bit beyond simple adaptation. Fisk's phrasing is novel, and he adds a lot of flourishes that even 20 years after the fact and after Vivaldi performances by the likes of violinist Janine Jansen, make him a daring Vivaldi performer. Hear the vaguely jazz-like phrasing in the first movement of the Sonata in G minor, RV 42. None of it goes off the rails, none of it is unmusical, and much of it (especially perhaps the Concerto in D minor for viola d'amore and lute, RV 540) is beautiful. Just be aware that this is Vivaldi with a lot of performer personality. The original 1992 sound has held up quite well. --James Manheim, AllMusic Guide



Concerto In C Major For Mandolin And Strings, RV. 425
1 I. Allegro 02:47
2 II. Largo 03:29
3 III. Allegro 02:10

Cello Sonata In G Minor, RV. 42 (arr. for guitar and harpsichord by Eliot Fisk)
4 I. Andante molto  04:33
5 II. Larghetto 03:20
6 III. Allegro 02:06
Arthur Fuller, harpsichord

Concerto In D Major For Lute, RV. 93
7 I. Allegro 03:36
8 II. Largo 04:57
9 III. Allegro 02:13

Concerto In D Major For Keyboard arr. by J.S. Bach, BWV 922
10 I. Allegro (arr. for solo guitar by Eliot Fisk) 02:22
11 II. Larghetto (arr. for solo guitar by Eliot Fisk) 04:00
12 III. Allegro (arr. for solo guitar by Eliot Fisk) 02:31

Concerto In G Major For Two Mandolins And Strings, RV 532
13 I. Allegro 04:03
14 II. Andante 04:26
15 III. Allegro 03:32
with Frederic Hand, guitar

Concerto In D Minor For Viola D'Amore And Lute, RV. 540
16 I. Allegro 05:11
17 II. Largo 03:32
18 III. Allegro 03:07

with Louise Schulman, viola

Trio Sonata In C Major, RV. 82
19 I. Allegro non molto 03:58
20 II. Larghetto 03:51
21 III. Allegro 02:11

Louise Schulman, viola
Arthur Fuller, harpsichord