The Young Vivaldi
As far as I know this is the first attempt on disc to assemble pieces by Vivaldi that have a legitimate claim to belong to his earliest period of composition. While some of the works have been known for many years, others have surfaced or been given secure attributions more recently. The most rewarding in the last-mentioned category is a Sonata in G major for violin, cello and basso continuo, RV 820. At the moment, Michael Talbot tells us in his characteristically scholarly note, this is the earliest piece of chamber music attributable to Vivaldi and one of three works on the disc enjoying world premiere status.
Although not everything here is of equal musical interest, the programme as a whole throws fascinating light on where Vivaldi comes from. Corelli’s influence is sometimes strong, as in the little F major recorder sonata, RV 52, one of only two such pieces by Vivaldi. Elsewhere we find the composer forward-looking as in the A minor Concerto for two violins, RV 522a, a putative early version with an intriguing history of one of his most celebrated concertos, Op. 3, No. 8. Director and recorder soloist Federico Maria Sardelli has done splendid editorial work on rehabilitating much of the music and the playing of Modo Antiquo fully endorses his painstaking spadework.