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Sacred Oratorios - Released October 25, 2019 | Alia Vox

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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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Concertos - Released May 11, 2018 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
Concertos for viola d'amore represent a fairly atypical part of Vivaldi's work, and he was probably the first composer to write pieces for this work in the solo concerto format. The viola d'amore was certainly well-liked for its soft, suggestive sound, which evoked the moods and climes of the orient thanks, in particular to its sympathetic strings which vibrate with those strings the player bows. But it was little-used because of its complex tuning and objective difficulties involved in playing it. In fact, the instrument would be tuned in different ways to fit the tonality of the piece being played – the famous scordatura, so finicky for the musicians – and it is believed that Vivaldi wrote these specifically for one of the musicians at Venice's Pietá: the famous Anna-Maria. Another characteristic of these concertos for viola d'amore, the rapid movements are also much longer and fuller than in most of Vivaldi's writing, for example in the seven string concertos which figure at the start of the album, or in the miniatures which were intended as showcases for the talent of the greatest possible number of soloists in the public concerts at the Pietá. A little curiosity is offered up here in the shape of the original concerto La Conca RV163, whose themes mimic the sound of the "conca", a kind of large marine conch used as an instrument since prehistoric times. The recording includes a conch being sounded at the start of the first movement by way of explanation. © SM/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released August 28, 2008 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
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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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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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Classical - Released October 17, 2014 | Erato - Warner Classics

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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
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Classical - Released November 20, 1981 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 2012 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released May 19, 2014 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Full Operas - Released November 16, 2018 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released September 6, 2019 | Glossa

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With her version of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Leila Schayegh continues her exploration of the violin repertory, always combining musical insight, virtuosic brilliance and historical understanding. Over the last years, the Swiss musician has become one of the leading violinists of her generation (and is helping the next one, thanks to her position as professor in the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis). On this dazzling new exhibition, Schayegh – who plays a late 17th-century Andrea Guarneri instrument – is joined by the fine and colourful ensemble Musica Fiorita, directed by Daniela Dolci. The opera composer Vivaldi is omnipresent in all of these four violin concertos, also thanks to the use of elements of Baroque theatre: the sounds of wind machines or bird whistles contribute to making this a delightful, fascinating and “different” version of one of the most recorded works of all times. The album also includes Vivaldi’s Follia (Sonata Op. 1 No. 12) and the Ciaccona from the Violin Concerto in D major. An essay by Schayegh herself complement a project which will be a pleasurable surprise for lots of listeners. © Glossa
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Classical - Released September 10, 2013 | Alpha

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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.
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Classical - Released March 23, 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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An organist (he worked with Gaston Litaize in Paris), choirmaster, and conductor, Diego Fasolis is a vital part of baroque music. In 1995 he founded the Vanitas ensemble in Lugano, and then I Barocchisti (“the Baroques”) which represents the refoundation of the famous Società cameristica di Lugano set up by Loehrer in 1961 to which we owe the first great recordings of Claudio Monteverdi's Madrigals. The ensemble took a great leap forward in its new incarnation under Fasolis' baton. The Barocchisti recordings have been showered with awards and great international soloists regularly come to collaborate with them, including Philippe Jaroussky, Maurice Steger, Max Emanuel Cencic, and, in recent years, Cecilia Bartoli who has set up a close collaboration. With Russian soprano Julia Lezhneva and Argentine counter-tenor Franco Fagioli, I Barocchisti offer us a particularly joyful vision of two of Vivaldi's vocal masterpieces, wreathed in the same slightly-naive halo as worn by the Madonnas painted in all of Venice's churches. The motet Nulla in mundo pax for soprano and continuo completes this radiant Vivaldi album with its image of an ideal world nestled in a comforting bubble. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released March 30, 2018 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Concertos for wind instruments - Released November 20, 2015 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
At the dawn of the 20th century, Naive music label decided to uncover and release some 450 of Vivaldi's works held at the National University Library of Turin - many of which had hardly had the honour of being recorded. This amazing collection is a personal library handwritten by Vivaldi, and is the largest collection of scores that belonged to the eighteenth century composer to have survived to the present day. The thirty-nine bassoon concertos by Vivaldi constitute the largest collection of works devoted to this noble instrument. Clearly, the creativity of Vivaldi was greatly boosted by the phenomenal flexibility and nostalgic sound of the bassoon, which is still remarkable in the way it can "imitate" the human voice. It should also be emphasized that Vivaldi, a violinist, was always very attracted to the instruments with deep range. So much so that apart from the considerable number of works he dedicated to his own instrument, it is for bassoon and cello that he composed the greatest number of works. It is Italian bassoonist Sergio Azzolini who offers these six concertos, the fourth component of an box set published by Naive. The richness and invention of Vivaldi makes for an exhilirating listening experience from start to finish. © SM / Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released September 7, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica