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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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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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Concertos - Released September 4, 2020 | Alpha

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Giovanni Antonini and his ensemble Il Giardino Armonico celebrate the composer who made them famous: Antonio Vivaldi. Their recordings of the Four Seasons and Cecilia Bartoli’s famous first Vivaldi recital left an indelible mark on the discography of the Red-haired Priest! Their musical fireworks display continues with a programme of concertos that is bound to provoke strong reactions, since it is the result of a meeting with a musician who is equally adept at shifting boundaries, the violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Together they have devised a programme which interweaves ultra-virtuosic concertos by Vivaldi ("Il Grosso Mogul" RV 208, "La Tempesta di Mare" RV 253, and RV 157, 191, 550 among others) with, between each concerto, short pieces written by much more recent composers, Luca Francesconi, Simone Movio, Giacinto Scelsi, Aureliano Cattaneo and Giovanni Sollima, and mostly commissioned by Patricia Kopatchinskaja especially for this programme. © Alpha Classics
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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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Opera - Released September 25, 2020 | naïve classique

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The musical world owes a great debt of thanks to the Vivaldi Project on Naive as it edges ever closer to fulfilling its mission to record around 450 Vivaldi works located in the National University Library of Turin, and not simply for the number of premiere recordings of long-forgotten works it's chalked up. Also because of the quality of each new offering in purely musical terms, often from veritable dream teams of artists. Truly, Vivaldi has shone, and Il tamerlano is no exception to that rule. Premiered in Verona in 1735, Il Tamerlano – also known as Bajazet after the Ottoman sultan who Tuco-Mongul emperor Timur (Tamerlano) kidnaps - is a pasticcio: a musical patchwork drawing on arias from multiple other works, and which in this case saw Vivaldi cherry-picking not just from his own operas but also inserting up to ten further arias by the likes of Geminiano Giacomelli, Johann Adolf Hasse and Riccardo Broschi. These Vivaldi then tied together with freshly written recitatives. The present recording also “reconstructs” five arias which were not in the score but were certainly sung in 1735. Artists-wise, it's a stellar line-up: Ottavio Dantone and his Accademia Bizantina for the tenth time in this series (not all of which has been opera, and if you want to hear them strutting their brilliant stuff in purely instrumental repertoire then head to the six late “Per il castello” violin concertos they recorded with violinist Alessandro Tampieri); then baritone Bruno Taddia as Bajazet, countertenor Filippo Mineccia as Tamerlano, along with mezzos Sophie Rennert and Marina de Liso, soprano Arianna Vendittelli and contralto Delphine Galou. As for the actual music-making, in orchestral terms the opening sinfonia says its all: Vivaldian rhythmic punch and exuberance for the fortes, contrasting with softer-focus passages of delicately airy elegance in which theorbo rises deliciously to the fore, while metre chugs along in perkily precise manner one moment, before being dramatically stretched or paused the next. Vocally speaking meanwhile, the treats keep coming, not least from golden-toned and elegantly feisty Mineccia - for instance in his Act 1 “Vedeste mai sul prato”. Or flip to the third act for a sublime “Son tortorella” from a ravishingly pure-toned Sophie Rennert as Irene, whose beautifully controlled vocal embellishments are further set off by the poeticism coming from the orchestra's softly cooing recorders, and from its strings shining in the barely-there chamber textures. Essentially, another Vivaldi opera revived to perfection. © Charlotte Gardner/Qobuz
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Classical - Released April 16, 2021 | Naïve, a label of Believe Group

Hi-Res Booklet
Only now are we fully aware of the true immensity of Vivaldi’s concerto repertoire. The violin is by no means the only instrument he favoured: the place of the bassoon in his work catalogue is remarkable for its size and stylistic homogeneity, as well as for his solistic treatment of an instrument previously confined to the continuo. Seven new concertos here join the twenty-six already recorded in the first four volumes of the Vivaldi Edition, an anthology Sergio Azzolini embarked on in 2009 with L’Aura Soave, and now builds on with L’Onda Armonica. Press reviews have unfailingly acclaimed every new release. "[Sergio Azzolini] is an accomplished master of his instrument, and despite all the difficulties with which Vivaldi challenges the performer, he transforms them into something wondrous - his virtuosity is amazing, but he also has a gift for characterizing every melody in an almost magical way", wrote Early Music Review on the appearance of his first volume of the concertos in October 2010.
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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 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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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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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 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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Opera Extracts - Released May 31, 2019 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
When it comes to prosperity, Vivaldi got pretty lucky. Thanks to a succession of happy accidents, his personal collection of manuscripts has survived through the centuries, allowing his music to be preserved, then later played and recorded. The contralto Delphine Galou and Ottavio Dantone, the director of the Accademia Bizantina, drew from this priceless batch of nearly 450 compositions to develop the program for this album of sacred music pieces dedicated to the alto voice.This new recording of the Vivaldi Edition, begun by NAÏVE many years ago, offers cantatas and arias for viola, functioning as perfect companions for the album of works sung by the same Delphine Galou. The lyrics, often by unknown authors, do not have a strong literary interest. Here, we find a pastoral world populated by shepherds in need of love as well as cruel and fickle nymphs, obeying the cannon of the time.Vivaldi takes advantage of these stereotypical characters to vary his expressive palette in a very subtle way and introduce the operatic style into works primarily intended for living rooms. The exceptional quality of his music generally transcends the commissioned work he is obliged to do, both in Mantua and Venice. These cantatas are accompanied here by some arias from his many operas. They allow Delphine Galou to fully express the variety and range of her singing through the pathetism of Liquore ingrato (Tito Manlio), the sweetness of "Andrò fida e sconsolata" of the same opera or the innocent grace of a childish song in the aria "È pure dolce ad un'anima amante" (Il Giustino). © François Hudry/Qobuz
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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 July 31, 2007 | harmonia mundi

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - 10 de Classica-Répertoire
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Violin Concertos - Released February 24, 2015 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
There are two distinctive features to this release on the Spanish label Glossa. First is the return to Vivaldi of the flamboyant Italian historical-performance violinist Fabio Biondi; he made his name with highly original Vivaldi recordings in the early 2000s, but has ventured into other territories since then with mixed results. His high-energy, high-contrast Vivaldi is always a pleasure to hear. Better still, it's applied here to some music to which it is unusually well suited, and furthermore to music that's been hitherto unknown. The six concertos on the program were part of a set compiled by a nobleman in what is now the Czech city of Brno; in 1740 it would have been German-speaking Brünn in the Habsburg empire. Vivaldi, at the end of his financial rope, had fled Italy for Habsburg Vienna in the hopes of finding an atmosphere more congenial to his music. He apparently composed these pieces shortly before his death. The Concerti dell'Addio (Concertos of Farewell) title is a misleading one; Vivaldi wasn't planning on dying, and the concertos have no debilitated mood. But the works are dazzling fusions of styles, careening from high-level virtuosity to the new light galant style and making it all fit together. Biondi ramps up the spectacle with tempo shifts, continuo contrasts, and liberal ornamentation, and while his reading as usual might not be for everybody, it will make some feel as though they've heard something entirely new in Vivaldi. Glossa's sound is not really successful; it's miked very close up -- breathing and all -- for no good reason, and the church acoustic would not have been a match for the music in its own time. © TiVo
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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 September 25, 2015 | Warner Classics

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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