That Amazing Manze

The 22 selections on this collection give a startling picture of the complete artistry of violinist Andrew Manze as a soloist, chamber musician and as concertmaster for the acclaimed Academy of Ancient Music.

All the works on the disc are almost a "best of" the nearly 26 recordings of his career. As a soloist, Manze retains excellent command of the technical passages within Antonio Vivaldi's La Tempesta di Mare (RealAudio excerpt). Through his solo efforts in the Vivaldi and later in selections by Handel, Manze proves himself a capable leader of the Academy of Ancient Music.

The chamber music selections on the recording show Manze as an extraordinarily capable chamber musician, making every available effort to blend and soften his tone. Of particular interest are the too-short selections from the double violin fantasies of Georg Philip Telemann (RealAudio excerpt). Caroline Balding joins Manze for the work, and both exhibit a great deal of precise communication.

Manze's only misstep is a hit-and-miss transcription of the famed Bach Toccata in D Minor, BWV 565 (RealAudio excerpt). Now in the key of A minor, the piece is a technical showstopper but without the sonic boom of original organ work.