Flute Concerto, for flute, strings & continuo in G minor ("La Notte"), Op. 10/2, RV 439
English Fantasy Suite, for chamber ensemble
- Sonata a tre, for violin, cornett & continuo (03:15)
Double Violin Concerto, for 2 violins, strings & continuo in A minor ("L'estro armonico" No. 8), Op. 3/8, RV 522
The Fairy Queen, semi-opera, Z. 629: A Misdummer Night's Dream Suite: Prelude and Ronde
The Fairy Queen, semi-opera, Z. 629: A Misdummer Night's Dream Suite Fairy Dance
The Fairy Queen, semi-opera, Z. 629: A Misdummer Night's Dream Suite Dance of the Savag
The Fairy Queen, semi-opera, Z. 629: A Misdummer Night's Dream Suite Dance for the Foll
The Fairy Queen, semi-opera, Z. 629: A Misdummer Night's Dream Suite Chaconne
- Sonata for 3 instruments & continuo No. 10 (Sonata Concertate II/10) (05:26)
Scylla et Glaucus, tragèdie en musique, Op. 11: Demon Suite: First Demon Air
- Demon Suite: First Demon Air (02:02)
Scylla et Glaucus, tragèdie en musique, Op. 11: Demon Suite: Second Demon Air
- Demon Suite: Second Demon Air (01:07)
Scylla et Glaucus, tragèdie en musique, Op. 11: Demon Suite: Third Demon Air
- Demon Suite: Third Demon Air (01:44)
Scylla et Glaucus, tragèdie en musique, Op. 11: Demon Suite: Simphonie
- Demon Suite: Simphonie (00:33)
- Sonata for violin & continuo in D minor ("La Follia"), Op.5/12 (12:33)
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Nightmare in Venice was the second album by the British group Red Priest, which one might describe as crossover Baroque. It was originally released in 2002 and is reissued here on its own Red Priest Recordings label, with cheap-horror-movie packaging to match the theme of the album and the generally over-the-top qualities of their music. If you haven't heard Red Priest, this collection offers a good place to find out what it's all about. Briefly, Red Priest reduces or rearranges Baroque ensemble scores to a group consisting of recorder, violin, cello, and harpsichord, and then begins to fool with them. The group sometimes combines two or more pieces in one performance, and the climax is often a full-blown pastiche of many sources: here a "Fantasia" on Corelli's "La Folia" that throws in everything from Elgar, jazz, heavy metal, various Mediterranean styles, and who knows what else. The group uses pop-style fades at the ends of pieces on occasion and exaggerates the rhetorical devices contained in the original pieces, often grotesquely, and in so doing revealing a high degree of instrumental virtuosity. Some of the antics of violinist Julia Fischer and cellist Angela East in the "Witches' Dance" section of the "English Fantasy Suite" assembled from music by Robert Johnson (the English composer, not the American guitarist, one has to add in this context) and the aptly named Nicholas le Strange suggest what might have happened if George Crumb had written neo-classic music in the Stravinsky mold. Recorder player Piers Adams bends the notes of his instrument like a blues guitarist, which sounds pretty weird on a recorder. The name Red Priest comes from a nickname bestowed on Antonio Vivaldi ("il prete rosso"), and both Vivaldi's own career and the edgy quality of the whole Red Priest project are suggested by the title of the group's 2001 premiere release, Priest on the Run. Vivaldi's flute concerto "La Notte" (The Night), a highly atmospheric piece to begin with, kicks off the program here in admirable style. Although it's hard to provide a broad evaluation of Red Priest's music, which you'll either love or hate, that work points to one general argument in favor of what Red Priest does: no matter how wild it gets, it uses aspects of the original music as a jumping-off point, and although the original composers would certainly be thrown for a loop on hearing Red Priest's versions, it is by no means certain that they would dislike them. Another general positive is that Red Priest is often flat-out funny, which distinguishes it from most crossover projects and can only occur because it's a true, well-oiled chamber group, not a pickup ensemble. Try it, you might like it.
|Label:||Red Priest Records|