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Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
Late Violin Concertos (Concertos for Violin, Strings and Basso Continuo)
Concerto in C major RV 177 [11:53]
Concerto in D major RV 222 [11:32]
Concerto in E minor RV 273 [13:18]
Concerto in F major RV 295 [11:03]
Concerto in B-flat major RV 375 [12:59]
Concerto in C major RV 191 [13:50]
Giuliano Carmignola: baroque violin
Venice Baroque Orchestra/Andrea Marcon and harpsichord
Recorded 26-28 June 2000 at L’Abbazio di Rosazzo, Manzano (Udine), Italy DDD
Premier Recordings
SONY CLASSICAL SK 89362 [74:35]
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The early period instrument recordings seemed strait-jacketed by the technical demands of the instruments. As performers such as baroque violin soloist Giuliano Carmignola and the Venice Baroque Orchestra have become more technically proficient this has permitted a freer interpretative approach, the fruits of which are successfully heard on this release.

This is the second release in this series from Sony Classical and it includes premier performances of Vivaldi’s unpublished late violin concertos (see SK 51352). It is surprising, with the recording frenzy that has followed Vivaldi’s music, that there are still more unpublished concertos waiting to be recorded for the first time; perhaps not even having been performed for nearly three hundred years.

We are informed in the booklet notes that post 1730, Vivaldi found that with so many of his published scores in circulation it was becoming increasingly difficult to interest the public in his newer ones. Vivaldi came up with the idea of offering his unpublished scores, privately to his patrons for their own personal use. Fortunately Vivaldi scholars are now rediscovering these unpublished scores in private collections or archived in Libraries and six of those concertos appear on this release, with, I believe, more recordings in the pipeline.

Clearly at ease with the technical demands violin Professor Carmignola clearly loves this music and plays evincing a controlled power and sophistication expertly blended with a certain panache. I particularly like the colour and variety of Andrea Marcon’s original continuo realisation with the second harpsichord alternating with a baroque organ together with an archlute.

The selected concertos are of a consistently high quality and reward repeated listening. These scores are inventive and frequently beautiful - so typical of later Vivaldi concertante compositions. I feel compelled to single out the expressively meditative slow movements of RV 222, RV 273, RV 295 and RV 375 for particular praise.

These are magnificent accounts to cherish. A must for lovers of late baroque music. An added bonus is the most natural and warm sound quality provided by the Sony engineers.

Michael Cookson


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