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Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
Double and Triple Concertos
Concerto in D, for 2 violins, 2 cellos, strings and continuo, RV 564 [10:26]
Concerto in F, for 3 violins, strings and continuo, RV 551 [9:27]
Concerto in G minor, for 2 cellos, strings and continuo, RV 531 [10:00]
Concerto in A, for 2 violins, strings and continuo, RV 552 [14:36]
Concerto in C, for violin, 2 cellos, strings and continuo, RV 561 [9:22]
Concerto in F, for violin, cello, strings and continuo, Il Proteo, ossia Il Mondo al Rovescio, RV 544 [10:23]
Christophe Coin, Paolo Beschi (cello I, II)
Enrico Onofri, Marco Bianchi, Duilio Galfetti (violin I, II, III)
Il Giardino Armonico/Giovanni Antonini
rec. RTSI Studio, Lugano, Switzerland, March and October 1994.
DAS ALTE WERK 2564 642309 [64:14]

This is a straightforward reissue, with a different cover, of a 1990s Teldec disc. Then as now it came under the pioneering 'Das Alte Werk' series, one of perhaps ten recordings by the Giardino Armonico dedicated to the music of Vivaldi.
 
Cellist Christophe Coin still has star billing, ahead of ensemble director Giovanni Antonini and, surprisingly, all the other soloists - these are after all double and triple concertos, and RV 551 does not even call for a cello. The Giardino are still making excellent discs under their founder Antonini so in that respect this re-release makes sense. On the other hand, Coin is still recording Vivaldi's cello concertos with Antonini and the Giardino - only nowadays for Naïve, whose excellent Vivaldi edition recently passed fifty releases. Warner appear to be taking advantage of the good publicity radiating from Naïve, or perhaps they wish merely to remind listeners what these top performers sounded like twenty years ago.
 
Warner do certainly have the price advantage, but there are now so many recordings - literally hundreds - of Vivaldi available, not just single discs but in vast boxed sets at incredible prices, that purchasing decisions will likely come down to a matter of taste, availability, even soloist/conductor. In that respect, Warner's reissues would seem to have an infinitesimal slice of the potential market available to them.
 
Nevertheless, no one that is minded to invest in this disc and its series companions is likely to be disappointed by any of the music-making. These are not the mannerist accounts of a Red Priest, Midori Seiler or, indeed Nikolaus Harnoncourt on a recent 'Das Alte Werk' entry (2564 69054-8), but rather faithful, subtle interpretations of style and intelligence. The fertility of Vivaldi's imagination is the most prominent thing, as it should be.
 
Audio quality is pretty good, though not as satisfying as Naïve's - neither Teldec nor Warner have ever been at the forefront of applied sound engineering. Trilingual booklet notes provide a brief but intelligent introduction to the music.  

Byzantion
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