Antonio Vivaldi: Pellegrina’s Delight


Signum Records is delighted to announce  the release of Gail Hennessy (baroque oboe) and Nicholas Parle (organ and harpsichord)’s second collaborative disc on Signum Records.

Pellegrina’s Delight celebrates Vivaldi’s contribution to oboe repertoire in the early eighteenth century. Vivaldi wrote at least 16 concerti for solo oboe, but in this recording we offer an overview of Vivaldi’s prominent use of the solo oboe in his chamber music. The disc also provides a fascinating illustration of Vivaldi’s stylistic development between c.1705 and c.1720.

The Quartet Sonata in C major (RV 779) was written during the first decade of Vivaldi’s activity as a composer, when he was serving as a violin teacher at the Ospedale della Piet in Venice. Selected girls were admitted – after audition – to the musical establishment. Vivaldi made a note in this manuscript of the names of the four female musicians who were chosen to perform the sonata. They are Pellegrina (oboe), Prudenza (violin), Lucietta (organ) and Candida (chalumeau).

Other works featured on this disc are the Sonata for oboe and continuo in C minor, RV 53, the Sonata in G minor, RV 28 the Trio-sonata in E minor, Op. 1 no. 2, RV 67, the Concerto for flute, violin and bassoon in G minor, RV 106 (presented with the oboe taking the part of first treble instrument, the Sonata in B-flat major, RV 34 and the Sonata a 4 in C major, RV 801.


What people are saying

"their meticulous musicological approach … is brought to the rendering of these scintillating works"

Frédéric Delaméa, Goldberg


"a delightful hour and a quarter of unfamiliar but attractive Vivaldi"

Musicweb-international, July 2012

Gail Hennessey and Nicholas Parle
Oboe and Organ & Harpsichord


Rodolfo Richter – Violin
Sally Holman – Bassoon
Katherine Sharman – ‘cello
Pater McCarthy – Violine

Release date:23rd Jun 2003
Order code:SIGCD037
Barcode: 635212053725, July 2012

Here is a delightful hour and a quarter of unfamiliar but attractive Vivaldi, very well performed and recorded and available complete with its booklet, all at a competitive price. There’s not too much competition quite a few collections contain RV53, but as far as I’m aware there’s only one other current complete CD, on Capriccio C5016, and that offers all the music on the Signum album except RV801 RV81 for two oboes is included instead. Burkard Glaetzner is the oboist see review of his recording of the Vivaldi Oboe Concertos. I’d give the Signum a small edge, especially as it’s available in lossless sound; you can compare the two in the Naxos Music Library.

Brian Wilson

Goldberg, February 2004

The Oboe occupies a privileged position in Vivaldi’s chamber works. The modest number of sonatas explicitly written for the instrument is more than made up for by the prime role accorded to it in delightful concerti da camera and in a number of experimental pieces composed for the Pieta school. Moreover, various sonatas preserved in Dresden with no indication as to the instruments they intended for look as is they might be assignable to the oboe on account of their technical features and register.

The recital presented here offers a comprehensive and musicologically engaging overview of this field as a whole. The dazzling RV 53 sonata, its Dresden cousins RV 28 & 34 and the concerto RV 106 (with modified orchestration) are presented here alongside the Sonata a quattro  RV 779 and the Quadro RV 801, two scores that defy classification and bear witness to Vivaldi’s explorations of instrumental timbres and interrelationships at his Venetian laboratory. More originally, the performers also offer a violin and oboe version of the second sonata in the opus 1 set (RV 67). originally intended for two violins though lending themselves well to other instrumentation, as Michael Talbot reminds us in his excellent notes.

Unfortunately the conscientious reading brought to us by Gail Hennessy, Nicholas Parle and their fellow musicians is not on a par with their meticulous musicological approach. The overly faint hearted oboe and the prim-and=proper violin set a reserved tone for the respectable but soulless ensemble. Scant verve is brought to the rendering of these scintillating works.

Frédéric Delaméa

  1. Sonata in C minor, RV 53 – Adagio – – [2:28]
  2. – Allegro – – [2:24]
  3. – Andante – – [3:59]
  4. – Allegro – – [3:10]
  5. Sonata in C major, RV 779 – Andante – – [3:40]
  6. – Allegro – – [3:59]
  7. – Largo e cantabile – – [2:19]
  8. – Allegro – – [4:17]
  9. Sonata in G minor, RV 28 – Adagio – – [2:28]
  10. – Allegro – – [2:15]
  11. – Largo – – [2:51]
  12. – Allegro – – [2:12]
  13. Trio-sonata in E minor, Op.1 no.2, RV 67 – Grave – – [2:10]
  14. – Corrente Allegro – – [2:14]
  15. – Giga Allegro – – [2:05]
  16. – Gavotta Allegro – – [1:00]
  17. Concerto in G minor, RV 106 – Allegro – – [2:59]
  18. – Largo – – [4:26]
  19. – Allegro – – [2:39]
  20. Sonata in Bb, RV 34 – Adagio – – [1:29]
  21. – Allegro – – [2:17]
  22. – Largo – – [1:30]
  23. – Allegro – – [2:10]
  24. Sonata a 4 in C major, RV 801 – Largo – – [4:15]
  25. – Allegro – – [2:18]
  26. – Largo – – [2:40]
  27. – Allegro – – [2:39]