Virgin's 2007 compilation Best Baroque Italian Concertos consists of five lively concertos of varying instrumentation by Arcangelo Corelli, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Tomaso Albinoni, and Antonio Vivaldi, surrounding the CD's greatest hit and biggest draw, Remo Giazotto's melancholy Adagio in G minor (once attributed to Albinoni and presented here in the familiar arrangement for violin, strings, and organ.) Considering that this label has produced many exceptional collections of Baroque music in historically informed performances, that Ian Watson and the English Chamber Orchestra have a long-established relationship in playing works of this period, and that the performances are first-rate, the listener can hardly go wrong in choosing this budget reissue to get acquainted with some important styles of Baroque composition. Aside from the Adagio (which is as overplayed as any piece of classical music and needs no explanation), the concertos are possibly less familiar but certainly no less attractive, and quite vivid, particularly for the enjoyable solos of violinists José-Luis Garcia and Mary Eade, flutist William Bennett, and oboist Neil Black. Recorded by EMI in 1991, the sound is crisp and clearly defined, and all the parts can be heard in the finest detail, not least Watson's skillful continuo parts on organ and harpsichord, and the inner parts of the concertinos in the two concerti grossi.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Concerto Grosso in F major, Op. 6/2|
|Concerto for flute & orchestra No.1 in G (very doubtful)|
|Double Concerto, for violin & organ, strings & continuo in D minor, RV 541|
Adagio, for violin, strings & organ in G minor, T. Mi 26 (composed by Remo Giazotto; not by Albinoni)
|Chamber Concerto, for recorder, 2 violins & continuo in A minor, RV 108|
|Concerto à cinque, for oboe, 2 violins, viola, cello & continuo No. 2 in D minor, Op. 9/2, (T. 9/2)|