Following two successful volumes of concertos for solo violin and orchestra recorded separately in the Vivaldi Edition (OP30535 and OP30538), virtuosos Riccardo Minasi and Dmitry Sinkovsky now join forces to record pyrotechnic concertos for two violins and orchestras.
We're truly in a golden age of Vivaldi recordings as it relates to all his oeuvres, but particularly in his concerti. I don't believe there's been a time in the past 5 decades when musical scholarship, musicians' keen sensibilities and a label's adventurousness have combined so fruitfully to enhance our view of this composer. For too long he's been viewed by too many listeners to be a one hit wonder.
This golden age is in no small measure reflected in the recording commitment of the Naive label to Vivaldi's opus. This is the 7th disc of Vivaldi concerti I've purchased on the Naive label. It's the best so far in my opinion.
I get a certain slightly giddy feeling when I hear a rendition of Vivaldi concerti that musically wipes the Red Priest's efforts clean of centuries of accumulated varnish, letting the original colors shine through.
This recording left me with that sort of giddiness. It doesn't merely wipe the music clean of varnish; it rips the varnish right off and the musical colors beneath are blazingly revealed in all their glory. The soloists are just terrific, both individually and together; the music is joyfully performed with almost feral intensity. Stravinsky's simpering aside about Vivaldi writing the same concerto 400 times over gets impaled against the wall by the violinists' bows. I can only surmise that Vivaldi must have lived a more passionate life that perhaps we give him credit for.
A first rate release. I look forward to picking up several more in the series. I don't know where Naive keeps finding these relatively unknown bands but none of them take any prisoners.
Other--perhaps more famous--contributors to the current embarrassment of riches in Vivaldi concerti include Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante, Rachel Podger, and Giuliano Carmignola. All are worth seeking out.
Was this review helpful to you?
This well recorded disc from 2013 continues the excellent Naive series of discs aimed at recording the complete works of Vivaldi held in the Turin library. That amounts to over 450 manuscripts and covers the complete range of secular, non-secular, stage and concert works written by Vivaldi and is therefore the largest single such collection in the world. This is volume 56 of the series so far.
Vivaldi, a virtuoso violinist of international repute, wrote considerable numbers of violin concertos, notable for their remarkable variety. Among these are about twenty concertos for two violins, of which six are presented here. This is volume 1 of such works so presumably there will be more to follow. Many of the works exist in other forms and written for different pairs of instruments. The most well-known double concertos, not included here, are to be found in the Opus 3 set of concerti grossi, L'Estro Armonico.
The six concertos on this disc are expertly played by Riccaro Minasi and Dmitry Sinkovsky who are also features as soloist in the single violin concertos volumes 4 and 5 respectively. Each of the two soloists takes the lead violin part in three of the current concertos. The double concertos were written between about 1711 at the time of the Opus 3 set to the 1730's, with most being written from the 1720's onwards. They are thus works of maturity and reflect Vivaldi's continuing interest in stretching the bounds of technical and creative possibilities.
All the six concertos presented here demonstrate both that technical and creative imagination with dramatic contrasts, demanding high-lying passage work and rapid figuration of a scale and arpeggio nature in the outer fast movements. There is also much use made of imitation and mirror imaging.Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?