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Penguin Guide, January 2009

Béla Drahos is an excellent soloist on Naxos, and he phrases very musically: the Siciliana slow movement of Il gardellino is beautifully played. He gets lively support from the Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia, who are also suitably gentle and evocative in the dream world of La notte. The C minor Concerto makes a welcome bonus, for in the finale the Goldfinch of Il gardellinno appears to have flown back in through the window.

Jesus Vega
El Nuevo Herald, May 2003

Victor Carr, June 2000

"The flute is probably the most serene instrument of all, aside from the harp. Its sound alone has a miraculously calming effect, evoking a mood of tranquility. This is assuming, of course, that the music being played is of a high and beauteous quality, something of which Antonio Vivaldi was certainly a master. The first concerto, "La tempesta di mare" (Sea storm), will be instantly recognizable by anyone who has seen recent diamond or wine commercials on television. The main theme's rapid upward scale is an engaging device the composer will use a few times throughout this collection. The Concerto in G minor, 'La notte' (Night), creates an eerie atmosphere with its somber tones and very pregnant pauses, followed by a raging allegro. The D major concerto, 'Il gardellino' (The Goldfinch) borrows the 'The Four Seasons' technique of suggesting bird-song with two solo violins. Béla Drahos's playing in these and the remaining concertos captures the smile that is ever-present in Vivaldi's music with unerring skill and purity of tone. The Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia partners him with pungent, animated accompaniments. Naxos' warm recording enhances the effect of these engaging performances, which are simply as fine as any available."

Nicholas Anderson
Classic FM, May 2000

Nicholas Anderson
Classic FM, May 2000

Bargain of the Month

“Collectors who like Vivaldi but are tired of The Four Seasons will be delighted with this second volume in Naxos’s series of Vivaldi’s Flute Concertos. Five pounds will buy these lovely performances by Hungarian flautist Bála Drahos and the Budapest-based Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia; highlights are La tempesta di mare (The Storm at Sea)-also known as a violin work-and Il gardellino (The Goldfinch).”

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