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Adrian Chandler and La Serenissima have taken a detour from their customary Vivaldi autostrada to explore some hidden treasures by a handful of his contemporaries as well as by Vivaldi himself. The charmingly devised programme takes us on an imaginary tour of Venice by night. Our arrival by gondola is accompanied by a soprano aria, after which we attend a private concert, music for compline, a concert by the girls of the Ospedale della Pietà and a visit to one of the opera houses. All this requires further gondola trips with sensuous vocal accompaniment provided by Mhairi Lawson. There are several first recordings on this nocturnal menu, but the musical highlights are unquestionably a violin concerto and a bassoon concerto by the great man himself, atmospherically played by Chandler and Peter Whelan, respectively. My only complaint is that we are not allowed near a ristorante. I suppose Chandler reckons that having forked out tips for the gondoliers we’d all be skint. A delightful experience, all the same.

Nicholas Anderson Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Early Music Today, 2012 - ©Rhinegold Publishing