Rinaldo Alessandrini / Concerto Italiano

Vivaldi: Concerti per Archi, Vol. 2

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Part of a large Vivaldi edition issued by Italian historical-instrument specialist Rinaldo Alessandrini and his Concerto Italiano, this is the second album devoted to Vivaldi's Concerti per archi, or concertos for strings. Alessandrini uses just one instrument per part here, and although his usual orchestra at the Ospedale della Pietà girls' residence was clearly larger, it's hard to argue with his choice for these pieces, especially inasmuch as it's not clear exactly how they were used (the booklet also argues that they were related to the 17th-century sonata a quattro, further suggesting a small-ensemble approach). These are almost miniatures, three-movement works with each movement just a bit over one minute long (or two minutes in a few cases), and the smaller ensemble scale fits them. So does Alessandrini's characteristically vigorous, punchy approach, scaled down from his quasi-operatic readings of larger instrumental works but losing nothing in highly percussive attacks and stirring, rapid tempos. Not everyone buys this turbo-Vivaldi approach, but it works especially well here. Each of these little movements seems to be exploring a particular possibility of Vivaldi's language, and while 33 of them in a row may seem like a lot, anyone hooked on Vivaldi won't find the album tedious in the least. Together with strong engineering from Naïve and some typically wild graphics that could have come out of Vogue magazine -- or might even have been too far out there for Vogue -- this is another fine entry in Alessandrini's series.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Concerto in sol maggiore, per archi, RV 150
1 1:06
2 1:20
3 1:34
Concerto in mi minore, per archi, RV 134
4 2:25
5 1:24
6 1:34
Concerto in sol maggiore, per archi, RV 151 "Alla rustica"
7 1:04
8 0:41
9 1:39
Concerto in do minore, per archi, RV 119
10 2:11
11 1:27
12 1:38
Concerto in do maggiore, per archi, RV 110
13 1:37
14 0:49
15 1:21
Concerto in la maggiore, per archi, RV 160
16 1:49
17 1:11
18 1:42
Concerto in re minore, per archi, RV 128
19 2:47
20 0:44
21 1:40
Concerto in si bemolle maggiore, per archi, RV 164
22 1:48
23 0:52
24 1:33
Concerto in re minore, per archi, RV 127
25 1:33
26 1:13
27 1:10
Concerto in si bemolle maggiore, per archi, RV 166
28 1:42
29 2:01
30 2:02
Concerto in sol minore, per archi, RV 157
31 1:51
32 1:19
33 2:10
blue highlight denotes track pick