3: Trios by Handel, Vivaldi and Telemann

Genevieve Lacey, Neal Peres Da Costa, Daniel Yeadon

ABC 476 5105

From the outset, the exuberance and clarity of tone of this recording makes a huge impact. It is an enormously gratifying aural experience, in which three of the country’s finest exponents of early music perform works written hundreds of years ago, whilst bringing to life the joys and drama of music by Handel, Vivaldi and Telemann.

In the trios chosen here, the melifuous phrasing and oftentimes exquisite virtuosity of recorder player, Genevieve Lacey is beautifully aligned with the tone of both organ and harpsichord played by Neal Peres Da Costa, whilst cellist Daniel Yeadon added a depth of sonority, as in Vivaldi’s three-movement Concerto (for 2 violins) in D minor (an arrangement here), and the well-known Concerto in D RV 91 (Largo movement), as well as the two recorder & continuo sonatas by Handel (Sonata in A minor, HWV 361, Op 1 No 4, and Sonata in C, HWV 365).

Ravishingly beautiful playing in the other trios, both by Telemann (F major, TWV 42:F3 & B minor, TWV 42:h4), in which conversational aspects to the playing of thematic ideas are artfully passed between the players, and delectable contrasts in tonal colour are achieved in the diverse movements.

The thoroughly delightful arrangement of aria, Par che mi nasca in seno, from Handel’s opera Tamerlano HWV 18, is calmly stated in a dialogue of melodic lines interspersed between recorder and cello, with organ providing a constant harmonic basis throughout.

All three performers have opportunity to shine individually. Exhilarating virtuosity is displayed by Da Costa in the decorative variations of Handel’s Harpsichord Suite No 5 in E, HWV 430. Lacey’s recorder solo in Handel’s Fantasia in C shows how fluidly she manages the disjoint melodic layers, giving to them an evenness of tone and agility. Yeadon’s solo Sonata in D, TWV 40:1:1 by Telemann balances the solo lines with underlying harmonic gestures.

This is one of the seriously fine releases from ABC Classics of late, and is testament to the early music skills of Australians who rate highly on the international stage.