This album contains the second group of six concertos published in 1729 in Amsterdam by Le Cane, the series making, with Opus 11, published in the same year, the now usual set of twelve...
This premiere recording of six Vivaldi concertos is full of surprises. The works are entirely unknown because, unlike his other compositions, they were written not for publication but for substantial private commissions from wealthy patrons. Dating from his most mature years, they exhibit a style very different from his earlier concertos, which often sound almost mass-produced. Though they are still cast in the customary three movements and are full of the usual sequences, they are more unpredictable, dramatic, and daring; adventurous in form, harmony, and texture; with sudden contrasts of mood, character, and expression. The slow movements are meltingly beautiful, but no two concertos are alike, either in detail or overall effect. Some movements hardly seem to hang together; they appear to consist of collages of motives, punctuated by bursts of virtuosity… –Edith Eisler
I Solisti Veneti is one of the first rank of small Italian chamber orchestras with modern instruments. Founded in Padua in 1959 by Claudio Scimone, it has made a reputation especially with Italian Baroque music, recording many works by Antonio Vivaldi, Tomaso Albinoni, Francesco Geminiani, Benedetto Marcello and Giuseppe Tartini. Giuliano Carmignola and Piero Toso were two of the soloists in the ensemble. The group has made over 300 recordings, many on the Erato record label. A number of these were first-ever recordings of works of Vivaldi, Albinoni and Rossini.
In his autobiography of 1718 Telemann had this admission to make about his work during the period 1708-1712, when he was Konzertmeister and Hofkapellmeister at Eisenach: "Variety always gives pleasure, and it is in this spirit that I have worked on my concertos. Of these I must confess that none came right from the heart, although I have produced a fair number of them …" During these years he must have become acquainted with the new type of concerto introduced by Antonio Vivaldi which, with its alternation of ritornelli and soli, captivated the German composers.
Telemann must have been excited and stimulated by it but, unlike his younger colleagues, he remained all his life true to the influence of Corelli, Torelli, and Albinoni.
"…Azzolini is one of the most brilliant players of the baroque bassoon these days. It is telling that the previous two volumes with bassoon concertos were also performed by him, whereas in the series of discs with violin concertos the solo parts are allocated to various violinists. However, it is not just his virtuosity which is impressive. In the slow movements he shows his capabilities in the realm of expression. The ensemble L'Aura Soave Cremona operates on the same wavelength. In previous volumes I found their playing sometimes a bit abrasive, even aggressive. That isn't the case here. The contrasts in Vivaldi's concertos are emphasized through the choice of tempi: in the slow movements the tempi are usually very slow, and are performed with great intensity…" ~musicweb-international
Narciso Yepes was one of the finest virtuoso classical guitarists of the twentieth century, generally ranked second after Andrés Segovia.