One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,514 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Plain text for smartphones & printers

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
Violin concerto in C, RV 177 [13:05]
Violin concerto in D, RV 212a [14:39]
Violin concerto in D minor, RV 246 [9:04]
Violin concerto in B flat, RV 370 [12:32]
Violin concerto in D minor, RV 242 (Op. 8 No. 7) [10:02]
Violin concerto in B flat, RV 379 (Op. 12 No. 5) [10:04]
Violin concerto in G minor, RV 328 [8:21]
Dmitry Sinkovsky (violin)
Il Pomo d’Oro
rec. March 2012, Villa San Fermo, Lonigo, Italy
NAÏVE OP 30538 [77:47]

Somehow my review assignment has become a never-ending stack of vigorously-played period-instrument albums of highly dramatic Vivaldi violin concertos. It’s like I’m in the film Groundhog Day, except that instead of being Bill Murray stuck in the middle of nowhere, I’m a happy Vivaldi fan trapped in paradise. Last year there was Rachel Podger’s stunning two-CD set of the “La Cetra” concertos (here’s a review by Dominy Clements). Then came “Nuove Stagioni”, from Amandine Beyer and Gli Incogniti. “Vivaldi Con Moto” from Giuliano Carmignola was recently my Recording of the Month. Now Naïve’s edition of the composer’s complete works has arrived at an album which begins so thunderously, so excitingly, that you’ll swear there are percussion players in the band. It was only founded in 2012, but the Il Pomo d’Oro ensemble is clearly one to hear.
They’re joined by Dmitry Sinkovsky, whose biography makes it clear that he won the talent lottery in life. Besides playing and teaching the violin and viola, Sinkovsky conducts a touring orchestra with the great mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, and on top of that, he regularly sings as a counter-tenor. On this disc, the period-instrument’s youthful Swiss Army knife plays violin and leads the orchestra.
Half the concertos here are dedicated to Johann Georg Pisendel, a stern German soloist who led the Dresden court orchestra and was close friends with J.S. Bach, Telemann and Zelenka, all of whose music he often performed or even premiered. Pisendel adopted the other Vivaldi concertos on this CD into his repertoire, too - copying them out in his own hand from the originals. This theme does not mean that Vivaldi writes in a Germanic way: he’s still his usual fiercely lively self.
Surprises and delights abound. Aside from that startling, percussive opening, there’s the concerto RV 212a, which, unusually for Vivaldi, contains two long and highly virtuosic solo cadenzas. That said, the first movement’s cadenza was apparently not written out: if Sinkovsky wrote or improvised it, I am very, very, very impressed with the result. The grave minor-key slow movement in RV 370 is dramatic with big contrasts between its outbursts and its hushed laments. Also notable are the very prominent allusions to the Four Seasons’ “Spring” in RV 379’s opening movement and the vigour of its finale.
One of these concertos (RV 242) appears in Vivaldi’s Op. 8, the collection of 12 concertos of which four are The Four Seasons. Comparing to Fabio Biondi’s performance - my favourite - this one features a slow movement that’s three times as long. This is thanks to a slower tempo, some ornamentation in Sinkovsky’s solo performance and a repeat of the main melody in an even slower, more delicate reading that achieves exquisite, hushed perfection.
Vibrant, very forward sound captures the ensemble well, though you needn’t turn the volume up all the way. The booklet essay is as comprehensive as any other in this series, and includes notes on every single concerto.
Truly, Naïve’s complete Vivaldi series continues in great form - certainly in finer fashion than the album’s cover model is wearing.  

Brian Reinhart