Gods, Emperors and Angels

Gods, Emperors and Angels


Pamela Thorby, recorder
Peter Whelan, bassoon
Sara Deborah Struntz, violin
Adrian Chandler, violin and director
La Serenissima

Cat No:





Who are these Gods, Emperors and Angels in the title of the latest virtuoso vehicle for Adrian Chandler and his dazzling period-instrument band La Serenissima? Vivaldi was connected to many Highnesses on the European continent, foremost among them the widely cultured Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV to whom Vivaldi dedicated his set of concertos titled La Cetra, meaning “The Lyre,” hence likening the emperor to the lyre-playing god Apollo. The theme continues with the oddly titled Concerto Conca or “Conch Concerto,” alluding to the use of the conch shell as a musical trumpet, heard in the work’s first movement, and as used by Triton, son of Neptune and Amphitrite, and by Neptune’s attendants. The Angels are undoubtedly Vivaldi’s virtuoso female students at the Ospedale della Pietà, one of which was described in a contemporary anonymous poem: “She plays the violin in such a way / that anyone hearing her is transported to Paradise / if indeed it is true that up there / the angels play like that.”

Chandler and his forces, delivering their eighth imaginative album for Avie, play like gods, emperors and angels indeed, further securing their exalted place in the realms of early music performance.


Antonio VIVALDI (1676 – 1741)
Concerto Conca for strings and continuo in Bb, RV 163 (3:50)
1. Allegro – Allegro molto (1:50)
2. Andante (0:48)
3. Allegro (1:12)

Concerto IX from La cetra (Opus 9) for 2 violins, strings & continuo in Bb, RV 530 (9:29)
4. Allegro (3:34)
5. Largo (3:07)
6. Allegro (2:48)

Concerto for bassoon, strings & continuo in a minor, RV 500 (9:52)
7. Allegro (3:26)
8. Largo (3:25)
9. Allegro (3:01)

Concerto for sopranino recorder, strings & continuo in a minor, RV 445 (10:29)
10. Allegro (4:19)
11. Largo (2:53)
12. Allegro molto (3:17)

Concerto VI from La cetra (MS) for 2 violins, strings & continuo in Bb, RV 526 (8:28)
reconstruction: Adrian Chandler
13. Allegro (3:21)
14. Largo (2:13)
15. Allegro (2:54)

Sonata for recorder, bassoon & continuo in a minor, RV 86 (8:42)
16. Largo (3:38)
17. Allegro (2:26)
18. Largo (2:38)
19. Allegro molto (2:01)

Concerto fragment for bassoon, strings & continuo in d minor, RV 482
20. Allegro molto (2:46)

Concerto fragment for sopranino recorder, strings & continuo in G, RV 312
reconstruction: Adrian Chandler
21. Allegro molto (3:39)

Concerto X ‘L’Amoroso’ from La cetra (MS) for violin, strings & continuo in E, RV 271 (11:45)
22. Allegro (4:35)
23. Largo / Cantabile (2:57)
24. Allegro (4:13)
Total time: 72:01

Recorded February 10 – 13, 2010, at the Hospital of St. Cross, Winchester, Hampshire, UK

Produced, engineered and edited by Simon Fox-Gál