Vivaldi & Boccherini Cello Concertos
The Vivaldi concertos are all old friends and you may meet them elsewhere on record, but for the most part played by soloists who are not period specialists. Frederic Lodeon on Erato couples RV413 and 424 (STU71453, 5/82) and Heinrich Schiff on Philips does likewise (411 126-1PH, 8/84), the latter the less unsatisfactorily, if I may put it that way. Tortelier (Paul) has RV424 joined with RV531 (Paul and Maud) in an all-Vivaldi programme (HMV ASD3914, 5/81). The best RV424 comes from Pleeth but in a two-LP album (CRD CRD1048/9, 7/78), and Pleeth/Bylsma win hands down in RV531 (L'Oiseau-Lyre DSLO544, 11/78), but then they're 'baroque people'.
What it comes to is that, apart from Tortelier's heartfelt but mildly anachronistic contributions, you can't win with any two of them on a single record. This new one doesn't change the ratings despite the decently alert orchestral playing: Turovsky too often sounds less than comfortable, the slow movement of RV531 has its trills the right way up, but little else—a yawning chasm separates Turovsky/Aubut from Pleeth/Bylsma, and there is both scrappy playing and woeful intonation in the first Allegro of the same work. There are good things on offer—Turovsky's touch isn't too heavy, his vibrato is abated and his dynamics are commendable, but they aren't quite enough.
There are alternatives for the Boccherini too, though only Lodeon (Erato STU71369, 3/81) is halfway satisfactory. The work itself is replete with charm and virtuosity but, again, edgy intonation strikes as early as the cello's first entry. The recorded sound is good and the balance excellent (you can even hear the harpsichordist) but, notwithstanding, I can't persuade myself to persuade you to get too excited about the performances. Disappointing.'