Massimo Lonardi

Vivaldi: Concerti e Trii per liuto e archi

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Vivaldi: Concerti e Trii per liuto e archi Review

by Patsy Morita

Massimo Lonardi and the Conserto Vago put together this program of Vivaldi's works for lute, throwing in a couple of violin sonatas with the lute as part of the continuo to fill it out to an hour of music. Although the ensemble is another one of those that admirably strives for authentic period performance, the overall reaction to its execution is that it is technically excellent and interpretationally pleasant if somewhat dry. The instruments blend well together (with no intonation problems) and the recording's sound picks up everything very fully, including the rich, lower registers of the big lutes. Lonardi, and the others as well, is a very clean performer, having no trouble whatsoever making those typical Vivaldi motoric moments precise and even. The opening Concerto for Lute and Viola d'amore, RV 540, is the largest in terms of ensemble used and the weakest of the program. It doesn't have that spark of animation that is expected in Vivaldi's music, making it more suited to being lively accompaniment for dinner rather than a captivating recital on its own. The smaller ensemble works fare better. The energy between the players is brighter and better communicated. There is a sense of purpose to each movement of the sonatas, whether it's a dancing allegro or optimistically meditative larghetto. The Concerto for Lute, Two Violins, and Continuo, RV 93, is stripped down to the bare minimum of instruments, which suits it very well. The ensemble is sharp with its thirty-second notes and Lonardi's embellishments are very fitting, as they are in all the pieces here. In the second movement, his almost stilted phrasing doesn't quite make sense until the embellishments are added. Nice as the sonatas and the final concerto are, there is still room for more naturally drawn lines and intuitive feeling in the Conserto Vago's performance to make them more musically appealing and less academically reserved.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Double Concerto, for viola d'amore & lute, strings & continuo in D minor, RV 540
1 Massimo Lonardi 05:28 Amazon
2 Massimo Lonardi 03:05 Amazon
3 Massimo Lonardi 03:10 Amazon
Trio Sonata for violin, lute & continuo in G minor, RV 85
4 Massimo Lonardi 03:53 Amazon
5 Massimo Lonardi 02:29 Amazon
6 Massimo Lonardi 01:53 Amazon
Sonata for violin & continuo in G major (anonymous, inauthentic) RV 24
7 Massimo Lonardi 02:16 Amazon
8 Massimo Lonardi 02:18 Amazon
9 Massimo Lonardi 02:45 Amazon
10 Massimo Lonardi 02:08 Amazon
Trio Sonata for violin, lute & continuo in C major, RV 82
11 Massimo Lonardi 03:32 Amazon
12 Massimo Lonardi 03:40 Amazon
13 Massimo Lonardi 02:10 Amazon
Sonata for violin & continuo in G major ("Manchester Sonata" No. 8), RV 22
14 Massimo Lonardi 02:50 Amazon
15 Massimo Lonardi 03:19 Amazon
16 Massimo Lonardi 01:47 Amazon
17 Massimo Lonardi 03:08 Amazon
Lute (Chamber) Concerto, for lute (or guitar), 2 violins & continuo in D major, RV 93
18 Massimo Lonardi 03:35 Amazon
19 Massimo Lonardi 04:15 Amazon
20 Massimo Lonardi 02:18 Amazon
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