Alexis Kossenko / Arte dei Suonatori

Vivaldi: Concerti per il flauto traversier

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Recordings of Vivaldi's flute concertos have tended to concentrate on a few vivid, crowd-pleasing works from the composer's Op. 10 collection, like the Flute Concerto in F major, RV 433 ("La tempesta di mare"). The flutist who wants to venture beyond these is faced with a collection of works that exist only in manuscripts and come with a variety of editorial challenges. Some of those are laid out in the unusually extensive booklet that accompanies the CD version of this release on the Alpha label, which also comes with one of the label's trademark art reproductions and its own accompanying essay (this one covering a scene of Venice by Antonio Visentini, from close to the time Vivaldi would have known it). The payoff is that, as with Vivaldi's concertos for other genres, there are plenty of unknown gems to discover. This release by flutist-conductor Alexis Kossenko and the small Polish early music group Arte dei Suonatori combines some of the lesser-known Op. 10 concertos with manuscript works, and any Vivaldi lover will find some fresh delights here. The group obtains some of its best results with some of the thorniest interpretive challenges. Hear the slow movement of the Flute Concerto in E minor, RV 430 (track 11), a work with a complex manuscript history; here the slow movement gets a heavily ornamented and quite haunting treatment from Kossenko, accompanied only by a continuo theorbo. The ensemble tones down some of the slashing attacks favored by the leading Italian groups, but is plenty innovative stylistically; check out the unusual string crescendos in the last movement of the Flute Concerto in G major, RV 438 (track 16). All the music is freshly and sensitively done, and the collection of Baroque flutes played by Kossenko is another attraction. Highly recommended.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Concerto en sol majeur, RV 435, Op. 10 No. 4
1 2:18
2 2:46
3 2:07
Concerto en la mineur, RV 440
4 3:45 Amazon
5 2:55 Amazon
6 2:54 Amazon
Concerto en sol majeur, RV 436
7 2:51 Amazon
8 3:30 Amazon
9 2:30 Amazon
Concerto en mi mineur, RV 430 (275a)
10 2:47 Amazon
11 1:48 Amazon
12 2:56 Amazon
13 3:27
Concerto en sol majeur, RV 438
14 2:52 Amazon
15 3:26 Amazon
16 3:20 Amazon
Concerto en ré majeur, RV 428, Opus 10 No. 3, "Il Cardellino"
17 3:10
Concerto en ré majeur, RV 429
18 2:47 Amazon
19 2:50
20 3:30 Amazon
Concerto en fa majeur, RV 434, Op. 10 No. 5
21 3:33 Amazon
22 4:06
23 1:42
Concerto en ré majeur, RV 427
24 2:55 Amazon
25 3:47
26 2:14 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick