Vivaldi: Music for mandolin and lute: Concertos for two mandolins RV532, mandolin RV425, viola d’amore and lute RV540, two violins and lute RV93; Trios for violin, lute and continuo, RV85/82

COMPOSERS: Vivaldi
LABELS: NAIVE
ALBUM TITLE: Vivaldi
WORKS: Music for mandolin and lute: Concertos for two mandolins RV532, mandolin RV425, viola d’amore and lute RV540, two violins and lute RV93; Trios for violin, lute and continuo, RV85/82
PERFORMER: Rolf Lislevand (lute, baroque guitar, mandolin); various musicians
CATALOGUE NO: OP 30429
This is a cheery disc of familiar music compiled from two recording sessions a decade apart. The sounds are markedly different, the 1996 lute-based pieces blander than the mandolin concertos recorded last year. These latter have a quite assertive quality, matching the spiky pointillism of the plucked solo instrument.

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The first movement of the double concerto RV 532 is a breathtakingly fast tour de force, Rolf Lislevand playing both parts, dubbing one over the other. His ensemble with himself is excellent – at this wild tempo there’s no time for it to falter – though it wavers momentarily in the alluring cantilena of the slow movement. An extra dimension arises from the two solos seemingly engaging in dialogue across the (two-channel) sound-spectrum. Among some strikingly imaginative textures is mandolin

with pizzicato accompanying

strings in RV425, continued into

the pensive slow movement. The

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whole ensemble is chamber-scaled, one-to-a-part, creating an attractive sense of intimacy. The earlier recording includes the double concerto for viola d’amore and lute, an extraordinary concept arising from the available soloists of the moment among the girls of the Venetian orphanage where Vivaldi was director of music. The tonal contrast is effective – the viola a touch astringent, the lute richer and softer-edged.George Pratt