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Pyrotechnia: Fire & Fury from 18th-century Italy


Contemporary accounts of the violin playing of Antonio Vivaldi, the ‘Red Priest’, show the extent to which he raised the instrument to hitherto unknown extremes of soloistic virtuosity – able, in its spontaneity and sonorous brilliance, to hold its own against an orchestra in fiery and unforgettably dramatic confrontations.

Thanks to Vivaldi’s pupils, eager to imitate the master’s wilder imaginings, several of his improvised cadenzas have been preserved. Here, they inspire typically white-hot performances from Bojan Čičić and The Illyria Consort of four violin concertos by Vivaldi, Tartini and Locatelli which all have movements ending in a ‘capriccio’ – a sequence designed to show that the idea of a virtuosic display cadenza, usually associated with the classical concerto of a later period, had already developed during the first half of the eighteenth century. Fittingly, the album’s title is borrowed from John Babington, author of the earliest guide to fireworks published in Europe – Pyrotechnia!

Reviews will appear here following release date

Release Date: 29 October 2021
Catalogue No: DCD34249
Total playing time: 1:06:00

Recorded on 29-31 July 2020 in St Martin’s Church, East Woodhay, Hampshire
Producer/Engineer: Paul Baxter
24-bit digital editing: Jack Davis
24-bit digital mastering: Paul Baxter
Design: Drew Padrutt
Booklet editor: Henry Howard
Cover photograph: Riccardo Chiarini/Unsplash
Session photography:
Singing In Secret: Clandestine Catholic Music by William Byrd CD Delphian Records


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