Vivaldi’s sonatas for violin and continuo follow his volume of trio sonatas, which, like these, paid homage to the acknowledged master of the form, Arcangelo Corelli, but staked out new, personal territory. Michael Talbot’s notes trace the origins of these sonatas in duets and various changes in their editions’ title pages if not thoroughgoingly in the nature of their conception.
Darryl Way is the co-founder of CURVED AIR, a trail blazing rock violinist and composer..To mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of his classic rock anthem 'Vivaldi', Darryl Way has arranged and recorded the whole of Vivaldi's masterpiece 'The Four Seasons' and given it the same 'rock' treatment. Darryl Way says of the album: "If you were a fan of my Curved Air track 'Vivaldi', there's a good chance you're going to like this as well".
The task of picking "essential masterpieces" for a big-box collection like this is essentially futile. Sure, one could complain that restricting the vocal music to the two Gloria settings distorts Vivaldi's output severely, but any selection would cause complaints - and the compilers could point out that it was instrumental concertos that made Vivaldi popular and instrumental concertos on which his popularity rests. Furthermore, the recordings featured here, mostly by the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, are, in many cases, those that turned Vivaldi into an industry - they were the backbone of programming on NPR, the BBC, and their counterparts in other countries for years.
Great energy derived from crisp articulation…Tafelmusik’s 13 strings, impeccably in tune, create a taut ensemble while slow movements are treated to beautifully expressive playing…an irresistible buy.– BBC Music Magazine
The English, historical-instrument, Baroque ensemble La Serenissima (the term was a nickname for the city of Venice) has specialized in somewhat scholarly recordings that nevertheless retain considerable general appeal, and the group does it again with this release. The program offers some lesser-known composers, and some lesser-known pieces by famous composers like the tiny and fascinating Concerto alla rustica for two oboes, bassoon, strings, and continuo, RV 151. What ties the program together formally is that it covers a range of Italian cities that were becoming cultural centers as they declined in political power: not only Venice (Vivaldi, Albinoni, Caldara), but also Padua (Tartini), Bologna (Torelli), and Rome (Corelli). There are several works by composers known only for one or two big hits, and these are especially rewarding. Sample the opening movement of Tartini's Violin Concerto E major, DS 51, with its unusual phrase construction and daringly chromatic cadenza passage: it has the exotic quality for which Tartini became famous, but it does not rely on sheer virtuosity. That work is played by leader Adrian Chandler himself, but he also chooses pieces for a large variety of other solo instruments: the Italian Baroque was about more than the violin. Each work on the album has something to recommend it, and collectively the performances may make up the best album of 2017 whose booklet includes footnotes.
In 1705, Giuseppe Sala published in Venice the Suonote do camera a tre, due violini o violone o cembalo op.1 of Antonio Vivaldi. This set of trio sonatas marked the official 'debut' of a composer who was already more than a mere youth (the 'Prete Rosso' was then 27-years old), and probably contains the earliest works of his that have come down to us. It is very likely, though, as Michael Talbot has pointed out, that the copy of 1705 is in fact a reprint of a now lost first edition published in 1703.
This release is a beautiful recording of both Vivaldi and Piazzolla’s Four Seasons, performed by the Orchestra of Saint John’s at SJE Arts in Oxford on November 21st 2015. The album features violinist Jan Schmolck and conductor John Lubbock. Musicians, critics, and concert promoters say that the Orchestra of St. John’s is one of classical music’s best kept secrets.