In the early 18th Century Antonio Vivaldi had his L'estro armonico and La stravaganza concertos published in Amsterdam. J.S. Bach transcribed some of the best, which bore fruit in his own compositions. Rinaldo Alessandrini and Concerto Italiano present the original versions of four concertos that attracted Bach's attention and, as centre piece, his transcription of the solo keyboard Italian Concerto into a putative original version. As Opus 111 puts it "the transcriber transcribed - with delightful results!" Hearing the Italian Concerto as a violin concerto, free from the limitations of plucked or hammered strings, is entirely convincing.
The programme is well varied with a Marcello oboe concerto and Vivaldi's La Notte for the delicate baroque flute. Alessandrini fields four solo violinists of exemplary skill and authority, contributing to a whole that is deeply satisfying. This enjoyable CD, supported by full documentation and an interesting essay by Patrick Barbier, is recommended without reservation.
Copyright © 2004, Peter Grahame Woolf