Walter Reiter

Baroque violin

What critics have said...

Primarily, we are treated to Baroque violin playing at its best - Walter Reiter's control of his instrument is, to say the least, astounding; not only does he demonstrate a clear understanding of the music's affekt, but his playing also shows a sense of structure that is often lacking in many others' performances....”
John Woodford
Music Teachers Review (UK) 
"baroque violin playing at its best - Walter Reiter's control of his instrument is, to say the least, astounding"                      Music Teachers Review (UK)

"... an artist who transcends authenticity to enter the universal... his technique is flawless... his understanding of different styles utterly convincing."                                                       
 Kol ha’Ir, (Israel)
"It was love at first sight for the baroque violin... as played by that exceptional musician, Walter Reiter".                                                                              Cannes Matin (France)
"Walter Reiter ... shows himself to be a stylish, no-nonsense player, who in slower movements mixes a clean, often sweetly singing line with tasteful ornamentation... and who in faster ones shows real virtuosity and fire.                                                              Gramophone (UK) 
"Walter Reiter and Cordaria play with energy, dash and gusto.”       Fanfare(USA)


"In Reiter's hands, the rigours of authenticity bring Vivaldi's music alive, revealing its full genius and beauty."  
La critique de peoplesound, (France)
"Probably the best version of the (Biber) sonatas available..... an emotional honesty and dignity that find fitting culmination in the Passacaglia for solo violin."
The Gramophone
" This is my recommendation for the month.. it was difficult not to hear some sort of religious message in this fantastic playing. Every note, every phrase took on some deep meaning... it's simply wonderful."                                       Early Music Review

“Reiter’s artistic vision is flawless... every passage is beautifully nuanced... his emotional and psychological response to the (Biber) sonatas finds a deeply felt expression that evokes an almost tactile reality.”
Early Music (UK) May 2004

"Cordaria held my attention throughout more than 100 minutes. The violin playing is excellent... these are truly virtuoso performances".                Early Music Review (UK)
“The performances are lively and musical....Walter Reiter is certainly up to the bravura demanded of him in some fizzing presto finales.”
         Penguin Guide to CDs (2000-1)


“ Cordaria held my attention throughout more than 100 minutes. The violin playing is excellent-...these are truly virtuoso performances. The fast movements bounce along, the slow movements have a certain poise about them, and the dances dance- it sounds a strange thing to say, but it’s so rarely the case! 
Brian Clark in Early Music Review (UK)

“Walter Reiter ...shows himself to be a stylish, no-nonsense player, who in slower movements mixes a clean, often sweetly singing line with tasteful ornamentation which refuses to draw undue attention to itself, and who in faster ones shows real virtuosity and fire. In short, these are intelligent but natural accounts of unfairly neglected music, in which any points the players are out to make are about the music and not themselves.”
 Lindsay Kemp, 
Gramophone, (UK) December 2000


 “Unfortunately, it's easy to make Vivaldi boring--and many performers oblige by being too casual and only scraping the surface or too serious and forcing the music into ill-fitting duds. Reiter has the right idea: he respectfully plays what's there (no distracting show-off mannerisms) while fortifying his solo lines with brilliant, singing violin tone and effective yet refined dramatic touches. In other words, this is playing that brings the music to life with interpretations that will hold up very well over time.”
David Vernier
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“Walter Reiter and Cordaria play with energy, dash and gusto, pointing Vivaldi’s (and their own) piquant rhythms with sweeping ornamentation. Although virtuosity doesn’t play so flamboyant a role in Vivaldi’s sonatas as it does in his concertos, Reiter dispatches their most demanding passages with a crisp articulation that commands attention. The tone of his 1727 Mathias Klotz sounds consistently bright and silvery..and he indulges none of the mannerisms that beset (and,for many, mar) the performances of so many capable period instrumentalists”.
Robert Maxham, Fanfare (USA) , Nov 2000


“The English virtuoso treats these pages with notable liberty and imagination, allowing the music literally to breathe. His approach seems decidedly to favour the more lively and brilliant aspect of the sonatas, characterising the different dance movements with style and insight
Giovanni Tasso (Italy)


Reiter is a consummate specialist of the baroque repertoire..his reading of Vivaldi is agile and frankly ‘nordic’ in the sense that he steers clear of  the theatrical histrionics...that can take precedence over far more important elements. Reiter chooses a more sober, highly technical approach, in which the peculiarities of the violin writing are brought to light with just mesure.”
Stefano Calucci, Audio Review, (Italy), Sept. 2000


“ This rendering is characterised by its attention to textual detail which nevertheless leaves space for  imagination and the personality of the players. The violinist Walter Reiter  rises with ease above the technical difficulties set by the composer.
Mario Marcarini, Musica 120 (Italy)
 “The Playing is expert, with virtually no lapses in ensemble or intonation. Violinist Walter Reiter....proves himself a dynamic yet sensitive soloist. His tone is sweet and even, and he characterizes well both the dance elements of the individual movements and each sonata itself; the continuo team provides absolutely sterling support. The rival modern-instrument version by Salvatore easily outclassed by this newcomer.”
Francis Knights, International Record Review.

              Walter Reiter's performance of these works is excellent. His playing is tasteful, his ornamentation subtle and attractive, and he obtains a beautiful tone from his violin. This recording exudes a great deal of joy and happiness; under Reiter's bow, this is clearly music to be enjoyed. His mastery of the rhythms of the dance music, his virtuosity when called for, and his restraint when needed all add up to provide an immensely satisfying performance. An example is the long prelude in the third sonata, where Reiter plays with such fluidity and flexibility, giving the sinuous melodies just the right highlights and phrasing. These are works where the violin ispresenting a discourse, and Reiter's approach seems flawless.

              There is also a perfect balance among the other various
instruments (harpsichord and cello; theorbo or baroque guitar in three of the sonatas), and the recording is impeccable. The sound comes across with such clarity and beauty that one is enraptured, especially when listening on headphones.

              An excellent recording of some of Vivaldi's earliest works. Far from being immature works, these sonatas take on a new dimension in this performance. Highly recommended.

Kirk McElhearn
August 2001 MusicWeb(UK)