Here are the familiar six flute concertos of Opus 10, which never fail to delight, plus two later examples, RV440 in A minor and RV 429 in D – the latter of which finds the composer in a particularly happy mood.
As always, Pahud plays with consummate ease and lustrous tone, adjusting somewhere midway between the latest stylistic trends in Baroque music and his natural inclination to physical beauty unrelated to stylistic concerns, resulting in performances that a wide range of listeners can enjoy. Pahud embellishes Vivaldi’s long lines with discretion but to lovely effect, and his trills have a wonderfully woody and naive air to them. The underrated Toignetti (when will he become more of a presence in North America?) brings with him the authority of one of the true champions of intelligent performance practice in Baroque and early classical music, and the Australian string band plays with relish and affection.
The recording, made in Eugene Goossens Hall in Sydney, a small concert and recording hall which is part of the broadcasting complex of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, is clear and moderately flattering but could use more atmosphere. Michael Talbot’s booklet notes make good reading. He, however, refers to a “last track,” the slow movement of the D Major concerto RV 226, which in fact is not on the CD.
– Laurence Vittes