Barocksolisten München

Vivaldi: Solo Concertos, RV 99, 429, 504, 417, 106, 450, 107

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In a Vivaldi performance scene dominated by stormy Italian readings and glittering Dutch ones, not to mention traditional symphony orchestras who certainly still have a right to the music, it may be refreshing to come across an entirely different way of playing Vivaldi. A disadvantage here is that the performance is in the fashionable one-instrument-per-part mode, problematical but defensible for Bach but not for Vivaldi; contemporary illustrations of performances at the Venetian Ospedali or orphanages like the one for which Vivaldi wrote most of his concertos clearly show 20-30 performers, or even more for choral works. For those enthusiastic about this approach, however, the musicians of the Barocksolisten München (Munich Baroque Soloists) are worth checking out. Not only with the small size of the ensemble do they deemphasize the terraced nature of Vivaldi's music. The focus is all on the tunes, and the graceful quality of the music in this reading puts one in mind of French influence. In a way, this is Vivaldi that looks into the future of the music of his time, to the emergence of small mixed chamber genres of various kinds. It's quite original, and well executed, but it probably wasn't how Vivaldi originally sounded.

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