Naïve's Vivaldi! features Canadian contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux in selections from Vivaldi operas and an excerpted version of his Stabat Mater, RV 621, limited just to the alto arias. All of this material is drawn from Naïve's standing catalog of Vivaldi recordings with the Ensemble Matheus, to which Lemieux has been a star contributor. Her work in duets with Philippe Jaroussky is duly noted for its resultant and memorable fireworks; some of these moments are included, along with a little bit of her work alongside popular soprano Sandrine Piau.
However, this is Lemieux's show. She is a deeply expressive and emotive singer who maintains a consistently lovely, warm-blooded tone and great control of her instrument. Even in recordings cut out of the context of their original projects, the restrained and carefully dynamic playing of Jean-Christophe Spinosi's band Ensemble Matheus retains its integrity throughout the disc. Devotees to Naïve's continuing series of Vivaldi recordings with Spinosi, Lemieux, and others may not need this single disc drawn from releases already offered, but as a single-disc survey highlighting the considerable talents of this singer Naïve's Vivaldi! should provide considerable enjoyment, particularly to those who are not familiar with Lemieux's artistry.