Lost in Venice
Marcello: Violin Concerto, Op. 1, No. 9; Veracini: Overture No. 6 in B flat; Vivaldi: Violin Concertos, RV 182, 320R & 521; Cello Concerto in B flat, RV 788; Sinfonia a 4, RV 786
Infermi d’Amore/Vadym Makarenko (violin)
Eudora EUD-DR-2206 (CD/SACD) 65:11 mins
Lost in Venice showcases a handful of Venetian Baroque concertos and orchestral works that were left unfinished or fell into obscurity. It includes several reconstructions and premiere recordings of neglected works by Vivaldi, Benedetto Marcello and Francesco Veracini.
Among the premieres is Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto, RV 182, its opening movement a real show-stopper of violin fireworks: rapid arpeggios, bariolage and double stoppings – all of which Ukrainian violinist Vadym Makarenko despatches with acrobatic flair, playing an Italian violin of 1760. Yet Makarenko responds most sensitively to Vivaldi’s vacillating moods, casting a filmy cantabile sound, subtly nuanced, in the melancholy slow movement, and lending an exotic twang to the concluding Allegro.
Another revelation is Olivier Fourés’s reconstruction of Vivaldi’s Sinfonia a 4, RV 786. The players inject a shot of caffeine into the driving rhythms of its first movement, in turn offset by the plaintive Andante where delicately intertwined violins weave textures light as Venetian lace. Fourés has also painstakingly reconstructed the outer movements of Vivaldi’s Cello Concerto, RV 788, only the viola parts of which survive. Soloist Bruno Hurtado is an eloquent advocate, bringing to this account just the right balance of lyricism and agility. Here, as elsewhere, Infermi d’Amore capture the drama of these theatrical scores with a remarkable range of dynamics, timbres and rhetorical gestures. With an ensemble of only ten players, their sound is transparent yet surprisingly rich, and it’s beautifully captured in this high-definition, surround-sound recording.