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Classical - Released February 21, 2020 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 étoiles de Classica
This is the first time a French violinist has joined the line of prestigious solo virtuosi recording for the Vivaldi Edition. Violinist Julien Chauvin and his Concert de la Loge – founded in 2015, and modelled on one of the most celebrated orchestras of the late 18th century – here reveal all the discreet charms of an inventive concertante style rich in detail, featuring Vivaldi’s favoured instrument. This particular set of concerti highlight the consistently close links between Vivaldi’s instrumental and operatic works. ‘Transcending the difference of genre, the Venetian composer’s unitary conception of language and style allowed him to pass with the deft skill of a juggler from one domain to the other, making them happily converge on common ground,’ writes Cesare Fertonani. In these six concertos we can hear superbly phrased cantabile, with all the players seeming to breathe as one: and above all a sense of dramatic and narrative tension in Vivaldi’s finest vein. Musical quotations, borrowings, reworkings and affinities here bring his instrumental music and operas closer together – two genres of equal virtuosity, on which he lavished his genius in equal measure, and in every expressive register. © naive classique
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Classical - Released March 20, 2020 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama
After a double album dedicated to Boccherini and acclaimed by critics, Ophélie Gaillard and the Pulcinella Orchestra reveal the incredible sound palette of Vivaldi, one of the most brilliant venetian musicians. Drawing on the finest cello works of the composer, Ophélie Gaillard’s selection places great emphasis on the concerto, for one, two or even four performers. It also includes an exclusive reconstruction of the Concerto RV 788. The vocal interventions of Lucile Richardot and Delphine Galou light up the program like rays of sun through the clouds. The album alternates between moments of great emotion, sometimes even dolorous as in the Largo of the Concerto RV 416, and moments of passion and frenzy (in the Concertos RV 419 or RV 409) that evoke "The Summer" from The Four Seasons. This music thus unveils all its mysteries in the interplay of lights and shadows, giving its name to this recording. © Aparté
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Violin Concertos - Released August 28, 2008 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
Director and violinist Amandine Beyer acknowledges in her booklet notes for this disc that the world may not seem to need another recording of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, but then she tops the bar she has set up by delivering an entirely distinctive reading of the work. Her version, with the Italian historical-instrument group Gli Incogniti (who are not quite as unknown as all that), is as strikingly revisionist as the various turbo-powered, operatic Vivaldi recordings that began coming out of Italy in the 1990s, but it is different in flavor. In her own words, Beyer seeks "lightweight forces and freedom of phrasing." The group is small, with microphones put down right in the middle, and you hear lots of internal lines and interplay rather than contrast between orchestra and soloist. The overall feel is light and agile; Beyer doesn't so much push the tempo (although there's a little of that) as imbue the solo lines with maximum variety, creating a fantasy-like feel. That works quite well with the Four Seasons concertos, which are rendered in a colorful enough way that they evoke many of the images in Vivaldi's accompanying printed sonnets (which would have been a profitable inclusion in the booklet). There are, however, enough startling choices, like the heavily plucked and much-faster-than-Largo central movement of the "Winter" concerto (track 18), that the disc may be more to the tastes of the adventurous than otherwise; sample extensively and decide. The Four Seasons are balanced with other concertos that are quite rare, two of them world premieres. One and possibly more of these works were written for Vivaldi's orchestra of illegitimate girls at the Ospedale della Pietà, and indeed the entire disc is easy to imagine in performance by that presumably small group. The Violin Concerto in B flat major, RV 372, "Per Signora Chiara," and Violin Concerto in B minor, RV 390, are late works that contribute anew to the understanding of how much Vivaldi contributed to the forerunners of Classicism. It may be a bit far out, but this is a fresh Vivaldi disc in every way. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 7, 2020 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Violinist Fabio Biondi has a singular capacity for finding something new and exciting in the music of Antonio Vivaldi whenever he considers it, a prodigious feat which he demonstrates with "Concerti per La Pietà", a new collection of works calling for a variety of demanding solo challenges, superbly met by Biondi and his colleagues from Europa Galante. In his Venetian years the well-spring of Vivaldian inventiveness was fed by the composer working with one of the leading orchestras of early eighteenthcentury Europe: the one at the Ospedale della Pietà, the charitable institution which took in, cared for – and educated – girls who had been orphaned or abandoned. Within the ospedale were nurtured instrumental virtuosos – known today only by their “sporting nicknames”: Bettina della viola, Margherita del arpa doppia, Lucieta della tromba, etc. Calling variously for solo violin, two violins, lute, cello, organ, or viola d’amore (Biondi plays an unreconstructed 1758 Vinaccia instrument), the concertos recorded here are drawn from across the thirty years in which Vivaldi worked at the ospedale. The freshness and personalness of Fabio Biondi’s musicmaking with Europa Galante has itself now been in evidence for a remarkable three decades and this new Album, conceived as a special 30thanniversary recording, won’t disappoint listeners ready to have their preconceptions challenged yet be stimulated by consummate musicianship. © Glossa
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Classical - Released October 4, 2019 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Christophe Coin continues his complete collection of the Vivaldi cello concertos. There are some  pieces on this new album which show the cello to be more of an ensemble instrument than a solo one. Working from the premise that the cello’s vocal-like tone was Vivaldi’s favourite thing about the instrument, Christophe Coin’s rendition puts this voice at the forefront of this score. Using a smaller, five-stringed cello which he plays upright on a small wooden table to increase its volume and resonance, as seen in some paintings, the cellist underlines how attentive Vivaldi was to vary his simple and repetitive lyricism using simple techniques that still manage to move both the artist and the audience: “A taught dissonance, a well-placed ornament, a well-chosen interval, just quick moments, he emphasises, bring excitement to the routine of our lives.” The Onda Armonica play in a rich continuo with three instruments used either simultaneously or alternately: the organ, the harpsichord and the theorbo, as well as a mandolin (an instrument Vivaldi also engaged with a lot) to liven up the Concerto in C major, RV 400. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released October 25, 2019 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
"Brace yourself for some exquisitely dizzy spells, at the hand of Jupiter," the booklet notes here confidently proclaim. The simple album title Vivaldi is confident in its own way, and indeed, among all the thousands of Vivaldi releases on the market, this one by the chamber group Jupiter stands out. There are some exceptionally strong soloists, both vocal and instrumental. Sample Peter Whelan in the lovely slow movement of the Bassoon Concerto in G minor, RV 495, and there is mezzo-soprano Lea Desandre, who is not to all tastes but strongly to some. Sampling one of her arias will determine which camp you fall into. None of these soloists gets credit on the cover, which mentions only Jupiter and its leader, Thomas Dunford. This is likely because, despite all the solo firepower on display, it is lutenist Dunford who has shaped the style. He brings a continuo-heavy sound that's flexible and animates the punchy, percussive, somewhat improvisatory spirit of the whole. Ironically, the least successful of the solos is Dunford's, in the familiar Lute Concerto in D major, RV 93, which is over-ornamented and oversaturated with rubato in a piece that derives its appeal from simplicity. The apparently original popular song We Are the Ocean at the end also is questionable; it seems to come out of nowhere. This is ostensibly a bonus track, but with online presentation, that distinction is disappearing. Nevertheless, this is impressively original Vivaldi with many gorgeous moments. © TiVo
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Classical - Released November 15, 2019 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet
Antonio Vivaldi had terrific luck with posterity, as almost the entirety his own collection of manuscripts made it down the years to the present day intact. Deposited in the National Library of Turin, this archive has been gradually pared down and published by the Italian musicologist Alfredo Basso. This new album presents six concertos for violin dating from Vivaldi's later period, marked by a very high quality of writing and inspiration. "The concertos of the late period are characterised by extremely refined soloist writing, even a certain affectation in the figural diversification, in the variety of articulations and phrasing, in the richness of the ornamentation, in the sumptuous inventiveness of a lyrical and cantabile virtuosity, marked from end to end by romantic inflexions", writes musicographer Cesare Fertonani. We know nothing of Vivaldi's final voyage to Vienna, where he would die alone and forgotten. This shortened series of concertos (eight are lost) is the last written trace of Vivaldi, which attests to his presence in the Austrian capital a month before his death. We have a receipt for a delivery of music to the Count Collalto, representative of an illustrious family of Venetian nobility, who were living in Vienna at the time, on diplomatic exchange. There is every reason to believe that the six concertos played here by violinist Alessandro Tampieri were a part of this delivery. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released March 27, 2020 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
Giovanni Antonini, virtuoso flautist and orchestral conductor, is the founder of the Italian ensemble Il Giardino Armonico, which burst on the baroque musical scene in 1985; together they have amassed an impressive discography. Partnered by Alpha Classics, they have launched a complete recording of the 107 symphonies by Joseph Haydn, in anticipation of the 300th anniversary of his birth in 2032. Il Giardino Armonico is celebrating a composer with whose music he made his name: Antonio Vivaldi. With Antonini as soloist in a programme of his own devising recorded between 2011 and 2017, a generous bouquet of concertos "per flauto" : RV 433 (‘La Tempesta di Mare’), plus the Concertos RV 441, 442, 443, 444, and 445, and an amazing version of Cum dederit, a solo from Nisi Dominus RV 608, for the chalumeau, the predecessor to the modern-day clarinet. © Alpha Classics
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Classical - Released October 25, 2019 | Alia Vox

Hi-Res Booklet
For a long time, we have subsisted on a fine version recorded in concert in Berlin, in 1974, performed by Vittorio Negri for the now-defunct Philips label. It was graced by some very lively conducting from great soloists including Elly Ameling (a magnificent Vaghaus), Birgit Finilä and Julia Hamari. The memory of this Juditha Triumphans is reinforced once again by the display on this album from Alia Vox which reproduces the famous work by Cristofani Allori, which hangs today in the Palazzo Pitti in Florence. First performed in Venice in 1716 to mark the victory of the Most Serene Republic over the Turks, this religious opera was written for the orphans of the girls' orphanage of Ospedale della Pietà, hence its all-female cast. This is the only one of Vivaldi's oratorios which has survived to the present day, and in its dramatic force and expressive power it heralds the coming of Georg Friedrich Handel's great oratorios. Recorded at the Philharmonie de Paris at a concert played in October 2018, this is one of the latest projects of the ever-inventive Jordi Savall. And it is Savall who captivates us most of all, thanks to the care taken over the details of an orchestra made up of a very wide variety of the instruments that were used in the famous Venetian institution: end-blown flutes, a chalumeau, clarinettes, a viola and a mandolin. Among the soloists on this recording, we should give particular attention to the vocal valiance of Rachel Redmond, who plays a very convincing servant of Holofernes, her musical agility reaching its peak in the aria Armatae Face. Jordi Savall shines new light on this score, imbuing it with an energy that unites charm and drama in a perfect balance. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Opera Extracts - Released November 23, 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or / Arte - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - 5 étoiles de Classica
This new Vivaldi album marks a double anniversary, the thirty-year anniversary of the close collaboration between Cecilia Bartoli and the famous English label Decca, and the twenty-year anniversary of the very successful first Vivaldian opus. This time leaving behind Giovanni Antonini and his Il Giardino Armonico ensemble, Cecilia Bartoli has selected French musicians well versed in Vivaldi’s music, as if to demonstrate the universal nature of the Red Priest’s compositions. In fact, Jean-Christophe Spinosi and his Ensemble Matheus have distinguished themselves with Vivaldi’s instrumental music since their early days. They started off their collaboration with five concerts, dedicated of course to the Venetian composer, in Munich, Prague, Baden-Baden and Versailles. For their first recording together they selected ten opera titles, nine of which weren’t featured on the 1999 album. The plethora of Vivaldi operas provides an endless supply to recitalists who can easily put together, as is the case here, an extremely lively programme featuring the most beautiful gems of an extraordinarily expansive composer whose melodic liveliness has been a constantly fascinating topic. This release is also beautiful in itslef (accessible on your Qobuz account), as it features a photo book containing beautiful portraits of Cecila Bartoli taken by Roman photographer Viviane Purdom, who has devoted her life to masterfully shooting great classical musicians. Happy anniversary indeed! © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released July 31, 2007 | harmonia mundi

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - 10 de Classica-Répertoire
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Classical - Released April 3, 2020 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released December 13, 2019 | Passacaille

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Violin Concertos - Released September 23, 2016 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Award - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Le Choix de France Musique
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Violin Concertos - Released September 28, 2018 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Fabio Biondi had his work cut out for him with the complete recordings of Vivaldi's violin concertos, as the Venetian left behind more than 250 works for one, two, three or four violins. Volume VI here offers a group of six concertos written in Prague and Bohemia in the course of his stay there between 1730 and 1731.Today, musicology has become much more of a science, and it is possible to put a date on these manuscripts by means of a precise analysis of the paper used by the composer if the music doesn't speak for itself. The Antonio Vivaldi of these pieces retains the style for which he is known and loved across Europe. Fabio Biondi notes that as there are only a few hints of Bohemian music in these concertos, which are more resemblant of Vivaldi's younger work. We might conclude that while abroad, the composer was writing pieces which, while new, were destined for use by his beloved students in the Pietà.Venetian chroniclers from the time often wrote of Vivaldi's virtuoso violin playing, admiring the inventiveness that he brought to the cadenzas of his concertos (the section at the end of a movement which is left open for creative improvisation) and the fantasy that he worked into his improvisations. While we have no proof that Vivaldi was the soloist for his own works during his Bohemian trip, Fabio Biondi, a true connoisseur of Vivaldi's style, clearly aims to apply this spirit to his recordings, and nowhere more so than here. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released September 10, 2013 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
Those following the output of the remarkable French label Alpha should note that this does not contain the art-historical essay included with many of the label's releases, even though it looks for all the world like it should: the cover shows a detail from a painting of Maria Josepha of Austria (it is apparently the younger Maria Josepha, Louis XVI's mother, who is shown) that is included in full on the inside. There is, however, access to an informative essay on Vivaldi and his relationship to the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice, the girls' orphanage where the concertos heard on the album were composed. (Historians disagree as to whether the institution served the poor or the illegitimate daughters of the wealthy who had to be closeted away, however.) The program presents one half of Vivaldi's L'estro armonico, Op. 3, a set of concerti grossi for from one to four violins, at times a cello, and orchestra that were probably Vivaldi's best-known pieces until the Four Seasons exploded in popularity in the 1970s. It's difficult to stand out from the crowd here, but the almost leaderless Café Zimmermann (it has a concertmaster, Pablo Valetti) offers a distinctive approach. This historical-instrument group, as international as its name, gets logistical kudos for bringing together a large group of Guadagnini instruments from the middle of the 18th century. The result is an unusually nice string sound, both lush and bright, in both the tutti (four violins, two violas, two cellos) and the solo parts. The soloists are nicely distinguished from each other in both the playing and the engineering, and the numerous antiphonal effects and intricate textures in the multiple-instruments concerts are very clearly sorted out. One misses a certain crack brilliance that marks the great Vivaldi performances, but at the same time it's good to have a historical-instrument group that plays the music straightforwardly, without the heavily dramatic, quasi-operatic effects of the contemporary Italian school. Sample and enjoy. © TiVo
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Violin Concertos - Released October 15, 2015 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles Classica
1720: in his famous pamphlet entitled ‘Fashionable Theatre’, the composer Marcello ironized the excesses of the new Venetian opera. This landmark pamphlet was published anonymously as Benedetto Marcello, under the fictional editorship of ‘Aldaviva Licante’ - undoubtedly an anagram of A. Vivaldi – ridiculing the operatic world of the time. It took on singers puffed up with pride, uneducated librettists, composers seeking dramatic effects, in short, everything that the musical world then thought about as original, unusual, new, experimental, shocking, weird, baroque, and, in a word, Italian! Vivaldi was one of Marcello’s favourite targets, continually lampooning the Red Priest and his virtuoso violin escapades. It is precisely these escapades that the violinist Amandine Beyer and the Gli Incogniti ensemble have chosen for their rich repertoire: detuned violin concertos (in the manner of Scordatura), violin ‘in tromba’, that is to say violin in a tone that betrays a scraped sound, not to mention more singular works in which Vivaldi leaves the soloist a freedom that gives real heart to the joy of improvisation. This is what really marks out Amandine Beyer, who performs in accordance with the habits of the composer, giving a clear, historical picture of her treatment of the ornaments. So, for the almost implausible Circus Maximus track, it is as if you were actually there, attending the Carnival of the year 1720! © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released May 19, 2014 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Classical - Released May 31, 2019 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet
When it comes to posterity, Vivaldi has been quite lucky. Thanks to a series of happy accidents, his personal manuscript collection has survived through the centuries, allowing his music to be preserved and later played and recorded. Contralto Delphine Galou and Ottavio Dantone, the director of the Accademia Bizantina, drew from this invaluable batch of nearly 450 compositions to develop this album’s program of sacred music dedicated to the alto voice.This recording includes two “introdutioni” for alto, a kind of motet whose form would have been devised by Vivaldi for his Venetian work for the Pietà. You can also find the vespertine hymn Deus tuorum militum for alto and tenor (Alessandro Giangrande), as well as a Regina coeli, a Marian antiphon played on Easter Sunday.At the heart of this album is a violin concerto written for the day of the The Assumption of Mary (August 15th). The importance of this celebration in the Italian liturgical calendar is underlined here by a score of an unusual length for a Vivaldi concerto, with it being divided into two orchestral parts that exchange a sometimes and sometimes joyous dialogue. Written for his student Anna Maria, the solo violin part preserved in the archives is played here by Alessandro Tampieri, who has once again enriched it with a very virtuoso "capriccio" of his own making. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released July 15, 2013 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 10 de Répertoire - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Hi-Res Audio