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Vivaldi: Violin Concertos, Vol. 9

Boris Begelman (violin); Concerto Italiano/Rinaldo Alessandrini (Naïve)

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

Violin Concertos, Vol. 9 – Le nuove vie: RV 194, 211, 281, 283, 346 & 365
Boris Begelman (violin); Concerto Italiano/Rinaldo Alessandrini
Naïve OP7258   70:26 mins

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Here is Volume 9 in the stimulating series of violin concertos which form part of Naïve’s ‘Vivaldi Edition’. Le nuove vie, that is to say, new directions, refers to Vivaldi’s response to changing tastes in music which were taking place around the 1720s. Most, if not all the concertos assembled on the disc belong to this period even if they cannot be assigned precise dates.

The fertile melodic invention and the sheer profusion of ideas projected in this music are a source of constant wonder and unbridled delight. The blend of joyful tuttis and scintillating solo passagework in the faster outer movements, contrasted with the tenderly expressed poetry of the centrally placed slower ones, engender profound emotional satisfaction. Nowhere, perhaps, are these qualities more beguilingly expressed than in the B flat Concerto, RV 365. The rich seams of originality are such that my responses thrill to the music as if I were discovering Vivaldi for the first time in my life.

Soloist Boris Begelman, who currently leads Concerto Italiano, is an eloquent conveyor of the spirited and lyrical charms of these concertos. His intonation is faultless and his articulation sharply defined and communicative. No detail of Vivaldi’s palette is left unexplored, no expressive detail impoverished. Concerto Italiano under its founder-director, Rinaldo Alessandrini, has established a fine reputation over the past three decades for its imaginatively conceived performances, and playing of the order heard here fully justifies it. In summary, this is music and playing which deserves unqualified commendation. A dazzling ray of sunshine.

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Nicholas Anderson