VIVALDI 12 Concerti Op. 4 La Stravaganza, Concerto for Violin No. 2. Europa Galante / Fabio Biondi. Virgin Classics

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Vivaldi 12 Concerti Op 4 Galante Fabio Biondi Virgin Classics

VIVALDI

La Stravaganza

Europa Galante, Fabio Biondi

1. Concerto in B Flat Major, RV 383a - I. Allegro

2. Concerto in B Flat Major, RV 383a - II. Largo e Cantabile

3. Concerto in B Flat Major, RV 383a - III. Allegro

4. Concerto in E Minor, RV 279 - I. Allegro

5. Concerto in E Minor, RV 279 - II. Largo

6. Concerto in E Minor, RV 279 - III. Allegro

7. Concerto in A Minor, RV 357 - I. Allegro

8. Concerto in A Minor, RV 357 - II. Grave e sempre piano

9. Concerto in A Minor, RV 357 - III. Allegro

10. Concerto in F Major, RV 284 - I. Allegro

11. Concerto in F Major, RV 284 - II. Largo

12. Concerto in F Major, RV 284 - III. Allegro

13. Concerto in D Major, RV 204 - I. Allegro

14. Concerto in D Major, RV 204 - II. Largo

15. Concerto in D Major, RV 204 - III. Allegro assai

16. La Stravaganza: Concerto RV291 in F major - I. Allegro

17. La Stravaganza: Concerto RV291 in F major - II. Larghetto

18. La Stravaganza: Concerto RV291 in F major - III. Allegro

19. Concerto for violin, cello and strings in F major, RV 544 'Proteo o sia il mondo al rovescio' - I. Allegro

20. Concerto for violin, cello and strings in F major, RV 544 'Proteo o sia il mondo al rovescio' - II. Largo

21. Concerto for violin, cello and strings in F major, RV 544 'Proteo o sia il mondo al rovescio' - III. Allegro

Europa Galante, under its director Fabio Biondi, recently paid Vivaldi a “fabulous tribute” (in the words of BBC Radio 3) with the Virgin Classics recording of the opera Ercole sul Termodonte, reconstructed by Biondi himself. Now they further expand their rich catalogue of Vivaldi’s works with six concertos – five from La Stravaganza and another in F major – published as a set in London in 1728 by John Walsh and a pillar of the composer’s international fame in his lifetime.

No major ensemble today is more closely associated with the music of Vivaldi than Europa Galante under its dynamic violinist director, Fabio Biondi.

Europa Galante’s Virgin Classics catalogue of the Venetian composer’s music embraces concertos, choral music and opera – most recently Biondi’s reconstruction of Ercole sul Termodonte with an all-star cast led by Rolando Villazón, Joyce DiDonato and Diana Damrau, which was awarded a Diapason d’Or in France and, as Disc of the Week on BBC Radio 3’s CD Review, was described as “a dazzling showcase for Vivaldi’s profusion of style”; with its “articulate, colourful cast and dramatic propulsion” it was deemed a “fabulous tribute” to the composer.

This new addition to Europa Galante’s Vivaldi discography comprises six concertos published in London in 1728 by John Walsh, England’s leading music publisher at the time. In the early 18th century Vivaldi enjoyed international celebrity: he took commissions from wealthy foreigners; the scores of his concertos were collected by travellers on the Grand Tour and his works were also published in Amsterdam between 1711 and 1729.

Walsh, who had previously possibly commercialised ‘pirate’ editions of Vivaldi’s music, took five concertos from the twelve in the collection La Stravaganza and added a sixth concerto in F major, RV 291, which does not survive in any other source, so cannot be attributed with absolute certainly to Vivaldi. All the concertos Walsh selected cater to the English taste for the concerto grosso, with more than one soloist.

This CD also includes a further Vivaldi concerto, RV 544 in F major, entitled ‘Il Proteo o sia Il mondo al rovescio’ (Proteus, or the world upside-down), which refers to shape-shifting sea-god Proteus. The score is ingeniously written so that, with an appropriate shift in pitch, the solo violin and cello could readily swap parts.

Virgin Classics 5193002

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