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Vivaldi: Lost Concertos for Anna Maria

Federico Guglielmo (violin); Modo Antiquo/Federico Maria Sardelli, et al (Glossa)

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

Lost Concertos for Anna Maria – Violin Concertos, RV771, RV772 & RV818; Concertos for Violin and Organ, RV774, RV775 & RV808
Federico Guglielmo (violin), Roberto Loreggian (organ); Modo Antiquo/Federico Maria Sardelli, et al
Glossa GCD924601   60:15 mins


Anna Maria was the most gifted of the violinists at the Ospedale della Pietà during the 1720s. Vivaldi wrote many concertos for her, including at least two for viola d’amore. Conductor, musicologist and flautist Federico Maria Sardelli has assembled six of the violin concertos which he has skilfully reconstructed from the surviving solo violin parts. His craftsmanship is so deft that my ears, at least, could detect nothing that sounded other than Vivaldi’s own work. Three of the concertos feature obbligato organ as solo partner with the violin, while two others, RV 772 and 818, are recorded for the first time.

Seasoned Vivaldi enthusiasts will quickly spot echoes of other works and tangents relating to them, but they are unlikely to find any grounds for disappointment. Solo violinist Federico Guglielmo is no stranger to the idiom, having recently completed his own recorded edition of Vivaldi’s printed Sonatas and Concertos, Opp 1-12. He plays with stylistic fluency, savouring the myriad poetic moments present in every one of the pieces. Organist Roberto Loreggian has a less exacting role, but he performs it with complementary sensibility. Sardelli’s direction is energetic, effectively paced and susceptible to those alluring passages of poetic fantasy seldom absent from Vivaldi’s music. This last-mentioned quality is notably present in the centrally placed Grave of RV 772.

In summary, this disc affords us a fresh glimpse of the extraordinarily high-quality music-making for which the Pietà was widely and justifiably celebrated. Michael Talbot’s excellent note sets the seal on an illuminating release, though the space between each work is uncomfortably short.

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Nicholas Anderson