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CD Review

Antonio Vivaldi

L'Estro Armonico, Op. 3

Il Cimento dell'Armonia e dell'Inventione, Op. 8

Arts 47750
  • Concerto for 4 Violins in D Major, Op. 3 #1/RV 549
  • Concerto for 2 Violins and Cello in G minor, Op. 3 #2/RV 578
  • Concerto for Violin in G Major, Op. 3 #3/RV 310
  • Concerto for 4 Violins in E minor, Op. 3 #4/RV 550
  • Concerto for 2 Violins in A Major, Op. 3 #5/RV 519
  • Concerto for Violin in A minor, Op. 3 #6/RV 356
  • Concerto for 4 Violins and Cello in F Major, Op. 3 #7/RV 567
  • Concerto for 2 Violins in A minor, Op. 3 #8/RV 522
  • Concerto for Violin in D Major, Op. 3 #9/RV 230
  • Concerto for 4 Violins and Cello in B minor, Op. 3 #10/RV 580
  • Concerto for 2 Violins and Cello in D minor, Op. 3 #11/RV 565
  • Concerto for Violin in E Major, Op. 3 #12/RV 265
  • Concerto for Violin in E Major, Op. 8 #1/RV 269 "Primavera"
  • Concerto for Violin in G minor, Op. 8 #2/RV 315 "L'estate"
  • Concerto for Violin in F Major, Op. 8 #3/RV 293 "L'autunno"
  • Concerto for Violin in F minor, Op. 8 #4/RV 297 "L'inverno"
  • Concerto for Violin in E Flat Major, Op. 8 #5/RV 253 "La tempesta di mare"
  • Concerto for Violin in C Major, Op. 8 #6/RV 180 "Il piacere"
  • Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 8 #7/RV 242 "Per Pisendel"
  • Concerto for Violin in G minor, Op. 8 #8/RV 332
  • Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 8 #9/RV 236
  • Concerto for Violin in B Flat Major, Op. 8 #10/RV 362 "La caccia"
  • Concerto for Violin in D Major, Op. 8 #11/RV 210
  • Concerto for Violin in C Major, Op. 8 #12/RV 178
Stefano Montanari, violin
Fiorenza De Donatis, violin
Paolo Zinzani, violin
Laura Mirri, violin
Accademia Bizantina/Ottavio Dantone
Arts Blue Line 47750-2 4CDs 212m DDD
Find it at AmazonFind it at Amazon UKFind it at Amazon GermanyFind it at Amazon CanadaFind it at Amazon FranceFind it at Amazon JapanOrder Now from ArkivMusic.comFind it at CD Universe
(Also available separately:
Op. 8 Volume 1 47564-2 Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe
Op. 8 Volume 2 47565-2 Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe
Op. 3 Volume 1 47646-2 Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe
Op. 3 Volume 2 47647-2 Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe
Op. 3 Volume 1 DVD-Audio 45002-9 Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe
Op. 3 Volume 2 DVD-Audio 45003-9 Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe )

These interpretations of two of Vivaldi's most popular collections of concertos are truly welcome. Dantone directs with exemplary style and piquancy bringing an uncanny verve and brilliance to the oft-recorded "Four Seasons" and other famous works such as "La Tempesta di Mare" and "Il Piacere".

Stefano Montanari's violin playing is absolutely astounding, full of trills, mood changes and impeccable virtuosity. I particularly enjoyed "Summer" from Four Seasons with its concluding Allegro a miracle of unforced motion.

In the second disc dedicated to Op. 8 the same thrills abound, especially in the lovely G minor concerto. Paolo Grazzi's oboe is also a welcome instrument at all levels, particularly in the slow movements.

"L'Estro Armonico" is perhaps slightly less well known than Op. 8 but also contains some beautiful music, on all counts. Again, one thrills to the playing of Stefano Montanari who brings a personal inflexion into the proceedings especially in the later concertos.

The recordings are clear and bright with excellent spotlighting on the solo instruments and a clear, realistic balance for the small orchestra. With ARTS' excellent prices, even their premium price Blue Line range is pretty cheap, so this is highly recommended.

Copyright © 2006, Gerald Fenech

Trumpet