Christophe Coin / Il Giardino Armonico / Giovanni Antonini

Vivaldi: Concerti per violoncello 2

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AllMusic Review by

This is part of a two-disc set of Vivaldi cello concertos on the Naïve label featuring historical-performance specialist Christophe Coin. Some of the concertos have been recorded before by Coin and other cellists, but some are new; both discs are part of a larger series devoted to the trove of Vivaldi manuscripts at the Biblioteca Nazionale in Turin, drawn largely from the composer's personal collection. As more and more Vivaldi emerges, the variety of his output only seems more miraculous. Among the works recorded here, the range between the somber Cello Concerto in C minor, RV 401 (tracks 4-6), and the adjacent Cello Concerto in E flat major, RV 408, with its cheery tone and highly variegated texture, is striking. Coin, atypically in this context, does not conduct the orchestra himself, but his coordination with Il Giardino Armonico under Giovanni Antonini, especially in the spare and highly lyrical slow movements, is exceptional. In general, Coin avoids the brisk, extreme-tempo approach of some of his Italian contemporaries, and he produces fluent, warm readings that take into account the varied flavors of each individual work. The Cello Concerto in C major, RV 399, for instance, requires attention to the proto-folkish passages in the work: a performance that didn't give them the proper zip would come off as rudimentary, but in Coin's hands the music seems positively groundbreaking. One must also applaud Naïve's attractive presentation, fearlessly lining up the Vivaldi discs with pop releases in an attached "also available" booklet. The only misstep is the overspecialized booklet essay by Michael Talbot, which begins with a lengthy disquisition on a cello type that is not in fact used before delving into such minutiae as copyist identity and clef usage. Fortunately, the music can speak for itself, and the engineering allows its voice to clearly come through.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Cello Concerto, for cello, strings & continuo in F major, RV 411
1
3:01
2
1:11
3
1:59
Cello Concerto, for cello, strings & continuo in C minor "Alla Rustica," RV 401
4
4:49
5
3:06
6
2:57
Cello Concerto, for cello, strings & continuo in E flat major, RV 408
7
3:32
8
4:20
9
2:03
Cello Concerto, for cello, strings & continuo in G minor, RV 417
10
2:56
11
3:08
12
3:02
Cello Concerto, for cello, strings & continuo in C major, RV 399
13
2:18
14
2:22
15
2:16
Cello Concerto, for cello, strings & continuo in D major, RV 403
16
3:15
17
1:56
18
2:36
Cello Concerto, for cello, strings & continuo in A minor, RV 422
19
3:40
20
2:59
21
2:40
blue highlight denotes track pick