- Double Concerto, for oboe, cello, strings & continuo in G minor, RV 812
Notwithstanding the enormous variety of arrangements of Bach's music that have appeared for every conceivable combination of instruments, remakings of Vivaldi have been comparatively rare. Cellist and composer Julian Lloyd Webber here attempts to fill the void, apparently with the primary goal of enlarging the repertory playable for him and his cellist wife, Jiaxin Lloyd Webber. Only one work, the "Concerto for two cellos in G minor, RV 531," is as Vivaldi composed it; the others were mostly for pairs of instruments, either similar or dissimilar, originally. The "RV 409" concerto was originally for one cello but had an obbligato bassoon continuo that was easy enough to turn into a second cello part. In fact, Lloyd Webber had less to do in that concerto than in some others, where he has been clever in adapting varied registers and instrumental textures to the new format. The result is attractive as Vivaldi nearly always is, although there doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason to the variety of continuo treatments in Lloyd Webber's arrangements. The new European Union Chamber Orchestra under violinist-director Hans-Georg Hofmann acquits itself well, but the church sound, somehow both boxy and harsh, is a disincentive here. The bottom line is that Lloyd Webber fans will enjoy this novel addition to his oeuvre.