Farinelli was the greatest 18th-century castrato. Nicola Porpora was his singing teacher and, in 50 operas, the composer who gave him the fizzingly virtuosic or meltingly lyrical arias with which he dazzled Europe. I’d be surprised if Farinelli’s voice was any more astonishing than the countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, who sings 11 of Porpora’s arias here, most previously unrecorded. The Venice Baroque Orchestra supplies zesty backing; Cecilia Bartoli, no less is on two duets. Read More...
— Richard Morrison,
The Times (UK)
Venice Baroque Orchestra: When Wild Works
"The qualities that made this concert succeed in spite of its wildness were the sparkling freshness and the enthusiasm of all the members, and these traits make the Venice Baroque Orchestra stand out from other equally skilled groups."
— Stan Metzger,
Seen and Heard International
By Vivaldi and Company, Prizes From a Watery City
"There was no grand thought or theme to unify the Venice Baroque Orchestra’s program at Zankel Hall on Wednesday evening, unless it was a sheer delight in virtuosity."
— James R. Oestreich,
New York Times
"Andrea Marcon’s irresistible period-instrument ensemble revels in the scruffy-elegant style of its home city, so its reputation in the concertos of such composers as Vivaldi, Geminiani, and Porpora is, naturally, sterling."
— New Yorker
Italian Music and a Film Fest Come to the Hop This Week
"If a regular orchestra can be likened to a bus ... the Venice Baroque is 'a sports car.' This from a city of gondolas and water taxis."
— Pamela Polston,
Seven Days (VT)
Venice Baroque Orchestra brings fresh spirit to ancient music in New Orleans
"Led by harpsichordist Andrea Marcon, the Venetians have been at the center of a Europe-wide revival of interest in period music and instruments. But this band of 16 virtuosos offers more than dusty scores and gut-string fiddles. It also has pioneered a spontaneous, near-improvised performance style that has had a liberating effect on classical players of all stripes."
— Chris Waddington,
New Orleans Times-Picayune
L'olimpiade, Venice Baroque Orchestra
"The performances from the Venice Baroque Orchestra under Marcon were simply stunning. The orchestra had a fine technique, with a bravura feel to it which just asked to be listened to."
— Robert Hugill,
CD Review: Vivaldi et al: L'Olimpiade
"Modern ensembles such as the Venice Baroque Orchestra play with a fluidity and grace that was would have been unimaginable in the middle of the last century and their singers seem to have found a confident style that marries passion and clarity."
— Ed Breen,
L'Olympiade: the Opera
"Sung and played with freshness and spirit by the Venice Baroque and six youthful soloists, this disc - full of showpiece da capo arias and gleeful coloratura - may up your game on the obscure opera front."
— Fiona Maddocks,
The Guardian (UK)
"The highlight of the evening, however, was the group's playing of Vivaldi's most popular work, The Four Seasons. One might say the work is so popular it's played to death, but Venice Baroque truly played it to life.... It was the freshest, most delightfully musical performance of the work I believe I've ever heard." Read More...
— Philip A. Metzger,
Allentown Morning Call
"The musicians - who with their elegant grooming and smartly tailored business suits could have passed for the board of directors at some high-level Italian corporation - belied their appearance with playing of percolating energy and lithe, silvery tone. The tenderly sculpted solo lines at the opening of Galuppi's G-Minor Concerto a Quattro were a fine showcase for the players' formidable solo skills, and their disciplined ensemble work was just as effectively displayed in the sparkling interplay of Albinoni's Concerto a Cinque in G." Read More...
— Joe Banno,
Venice Baroque Orchestra goes beyond history, to pure music
"A Sinfonia and six concertos -- two for strings and four for violin solo -- all from Venetian composers, provided a heavy dose of the city's heritage. Only a group of this caliber could dispel the potential sameness of such a program, and they did so with bright, transparent textures and measured balance."
— Michael Huebner,
"This is music the 18 members of Venice Baroque know so well they played as a single body. Each arm used the same amount of weight on a bow stroke, each string was crossed not merely at the same time, but at the same angle. The resonance this created in Camp Concert Hall was staggering." Read More...
— Angela Lehman-Rios,
"Moments of brilliant color and texture emerged through the work's four movements, enhanced by the Venice Baroque Orchestra's incredible dynamic spectrum.
"Comprising only seventeen members, the facile Venice Baroque Orchestra always had technique to burn and a chamber-like demeanor (with all musicians standing except cellists, lutenist, and harpsichordist). In Vivaldi's Four Seasons, one could imagine frolicking love birds, summer thunderstorms, and a swirling winter wind." Read More...
— Michael Lodico,
Through the Seasons With Glass and Vivaldi
"Collaborating with the Venice ensemble - a superbly polished period-instrument group known for its fresh, zesty Vivaldi recordings - was also a brilliant touch. Mr. McDuffie, as both soloist and conductor, is anything but an early-music purist. His vigorous, often electrifying account of the Vivaldi was steeped in Romantic expressive effects: carefully shaped phrases with ample rubato, dynamic suppleness and grand rallentandos at movement endings. But the Venetians matched his moves closely, and Mr. McDuffie adopted the Baroque practice of embellishing the solo line, elegantly and plentifully, with variations in the repeated sections."
— Allan Kozinn,
New York Times
Music review: Venice Baroque Orchestra
"... one of Europe's most dynamic period-instrument ensembles ..."
— Joshua Kosman,
San Francisco Chronicle
Patricia Petibon: Redhead
"The playing of the Venice Baroque Orchestra is beautifully scaled to these extremes, from a full-bore rhythmic tussle to the gentle accompaniment of lute or therbo."
— Charles Downey,
A Folly, and Other High Spirits
"Vivaldi filled the rest of the program, which included a colorful interpretation of his String Concerto in G minor (RV 152). Mr. Carmignola performed with passion and improvisatory flair in the Violin Concerto in E minor (RV 273), his warm, glowing sound particularly lovely in the Largo.... And there was more Vivaldi for the encore, a fiery, virtuosic performance of the Presto movement from 'Summer' of 'The Four Seasons.'"
— Vivien Schweitzer,
New York Times
"His (Vivaldi's) music is like water, always changing. I think of the frescoes of Tiepolo with their fantastic images of clouds and color." Read More...
— Paul Sayegh,
"Both jovial and regal in its sound, the Venice Baroque Orchestra clearly takes pure pleasure in what it does and has a deep respect for Baroque music." Read More...
— Kristin Shafel,
"'Every time we begin a rehearsal, we find - every time - new things...'" Read More...
— Jane Norris,
Charlottesville Daily Progress
Vivaldi, the Way He Wanted to Be Heard
"Whether plucking on the high strings to evoke an icy winter rain or bowing on the low strings to suggest a rumbling summer thunderstorm, Mr. Sbrogiò said, the musicians will attack their instruments with vigor, using all of the tools at their disposal to create a multisensory experience.'The people don't only have to hear the music; they have to see the music,' he said."
— Phillip Lutz,
New York Times
"Venice in the 18th century must have been a happy place. The music of the Venetian Baroque fairly bubbles over with optimism and unadulterated joy."
— Kansas City Star
"Baroque music has been all the rage the past couple of decades, but few ensembles have the sensitive and historically nuanced approach of the Venice Baroque orchestra."
"The Venice Baroque Orchestra under Andrea Marcon's direction offers sympathetic and crisp support, setting the seal on an excellent release." Read More...
— Nicholas Anderson,
BBC Music Magazine
"Venice Baroque, with Carmignola, has given feisty performances of Vivaldi classics such as The Four Seasons, but it's also shed light on many rarely heard pieces. In many cases, these are concertos from late in Vivaldi's career, written for private patrons - bought and sold like paintings, and not for instant public appeal." Read More...
— Tom Huizenga,
"To bring off these long-neglected works we need a virtuosic violinist in his own right, and we get that in Giuliano Carmignola, ably supported by the Venice Baroque Orchestra, an ensemble of about sixteen players. Performing on a 1732 Stradivarius, Mr. Carmignola displays all the technical skill and fluency necessary and does so with precision and élan." Read More...
— John J. Puccio,
— Charles T. Downey,
"This is a beautiful disc - wonderful repertoire, breathtakingly sung, presented by Kozena and the orchestra with freshness and vitality - which shows off the fruits of Kozena's long relationship with Baroque repertoire." Read More...
— Charlotte Gardner,
Review: Angelin Preljocaj's 'Les 4 Saisons ...'
"The ballet was danced to a recording by the brilliantly idiosyncratic violinist Giuliano Carmignola and the virtuoso Venice Baroque Orchestra, conducted by the equally inventive Andrea Marcon."
— Chris Pasles,
Los Angeles Times