Accademia Ottoboni / Raffaella Milanesi

Vivaldi: Cupido tu vedi

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The booklet for this release by the Roman historical-instrument group Accademia Ottoboni spends a lot of space justifying the mixture of concertos and solo-voice cantatas included, with the claim that the mix of materials here, from different parts of Vivaldi's career as well as for diverse forces, "could easily risk giving rise to something amorphous or incoherent." The idea is not so original, and Vivaldi and other Baroque composers would certainly have reached back into the earlier parts of their songbags in organizing an evening's music. There are various Vivaldi recordings that alternate vocal and instrumental works. This one has exciting music-making going for it, with sparkling performances by soprano Raffaella Milanesi in the brief cantatas, each with two arias and one or two recitatives. The players of the Accademia Ottoboni, largely students of the major European early music performers, have a real feel for the radical quality of Vivaldi's instrumental music; they offer highly expressive slow movements; crisp, exciting solos and variety of effects in the outer movements; and an edge-of-your chair rendition of the Flute Concerto in G minor, RV 439, "La notte," a six-movement piece in which Vivaldi went beyond even the Four Seasons concertos in sheer descriptive daring. On the negative side are chilly church sound and problematic graphic design (just try to read the names of those artists in weak reversed type on the cover). The designers do, however, squeeze in all texts, including for the cantatas, in Italian, French, and English. On balance this is promising news of the next generation of Italian Baroque players.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Concerto in la minore, RV 440
1 3:25
2 2:34
3 2:55
Che giova il sospirar, povero core, RV 679
4 0:49
5 5:35
6 0:35
7 3:45
Concerto in re minore, RV 406
8 2:57
9 2:22
10 4:03
All' ombra di sospetto, RV 678
11 0:18
12 5:20
13 1:02
14 4:14
Concerto in do maggiore, RV 533
15 2:32
16 2:31
17 2:08
Vengo a voi luci adorate, RV 682
18 5:55
19 0:55
20 3:31
Concerto in sol minore, RV 439 "La Notte"
21 3:16
22 0:52
23 1:15
24 1:02
25 1:47
26 2:13
blue highlight denotes track pick