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Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
Concerti per Violoncello III
Cello Concerto in C major, RV 400 [9:14]
Cello Concerto in D major, RV 404 [7:29]
Cello Concerto in D minor, RV407 [10:12]
Cello Concerto in G major, RV415 [9:43]
Cello Concerto in A minor, RV420 [10:32]
Cello Concerto in B flat major, RV423 [11:08]
L'Onda Armonica / Christophe Coin (cello)
rec. 2018, Sala della CaritÓ, Padova, Italy
Vivaldi Edition Volume 61
NAÏVE OP30574 [58:29]

The violin concertos of Vivaldi need little introduction with loads of very good recordings of various works, not just the four famous ones. On the other hand, his cello concertos have fared less well. Here, as part of their Vivaldi Edition, Na´ve have given us the third volume of what I imagine will be a four volume series. So far over the three volumes Christophe Coin has offered us twenty of the twenty-seven cello concertos, which will at this rate, be a set that will be hard to beat. I missed the first two volumes when they were released on disc (OP30426, OP30457), so have had to put up with recently downloaded versions, a mistake I will not be making with the next volume.

The playing is sublime from both Christophe Coin and his band which adds up to one of the most enjoyable hours in the company of Vivaldi that I have had in a long time. From the outset of the Concerto in C you appreciate that this is going to be something special, and so it proves, with tempos marginally slower than Francesco Galligioni’s survey of the complete cello concertos for Brilliant (95082). It is in the slow central Largo that Christophe Coin comes in to his own, the sonorities of his cello taking on an all but vocal intonation, a remarkable performance. This continues throughout this recording, with tempos again slightly slower than Galligioni’s, which makes for some wonderful playing especially in the slow movements; just listen to Siciliana of the Concerto in G for an example. Despite the slower tempos, the playing of the faster movements does not suffer, with many sounding quicker that they actually are, and that of the competition; this is largely down to the musicianship of Coin and the way that he shapes every little phrase to get the most from the music; just listen to the opening Allegro of B-Flat Major Concerto or the Alla breve of the Concerto in G, which brings this wonderful disc to a conclusion.

Added to the wonderful performance is excellent recorded sound which helps the listener to hear every nuance of Vivaldi’s music. The booklet notes by Cesare Fertonani are detailed and informative, whilst as an addition we have excerpts from an interview given by Coin, in which he explores and expands on Vivaldi’s music and on how he envisages it should be performed. I am looking forward to the next volume and will be searching for a CD version of the two volumes I missed out on. Surely, this disc presents a performance, that when completed, will be the benchmark by which all further recordings of the cello concertos will be compared. Highly recommended.

Stuart Sillitoe

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