Federico Guglielmo whittles down his ensemble L’Arte dell’Arco to just three or four players for his latest release of Vivaldi’s music. Unlike other Vivaldi performers, Guglielmo is keen to return to the transparency of the Prete Rosso’s music, stripping away the ornate embellishments that have encumbered recent recordings, allowing the fluid lines to speak for themselves. In these Violin and Trio Sonatas, Guglielmo and his fellow musicians once again establish themselves as some of the foremost interpreters of the Italian’s music. For the most part bright and jolly, these sonatas demand to be played with charm and joie de vivre, which L’Arte dell’Arco certainly supply in abundance. The tender lines of the slow movements are still a world away from some of the darker, more sombre sonatas of Vivaldi’s contemporary J.S. Bach, and they find serious expression and resonance on this CD rather than languid solemnity.
It is certainly odd that these Sonatas have been overlooked in the past, with few recordings available on CD, and no recent ones by Italian musicians. Also available as part of a complete boxset of Vivaldi’s Opp.1–12 (BC95200), this recording can also stand alone as an outstanding example of Vivaldi’s superb writing for chamber ensemble.
This CD presents the first recording on period instruments of Vivaldi’s complete Opus 5, consisting of 4 violin sonatas for violin solo and continuo, as well as two Trio Sonatas for two violins and continuo.
In the years of composition of these works Vivaldi’s fame had already widely spread and he was keen to publish this set of chamber music as his Opus 5. The music is vintage Vivaldi: fresh, vigorous, full of melodic and harmonic invention and instrumental brilliance.
This CD is part of the complete edition based on the original sources of the New Vivaldi Edition by the Italian early music group L’Arte dell’Arco, led by violinist Federico Guglielmo, who is the soloist in these sonatas, seconded by a continuo of cello and harpsichord. “They understand the secret language of Vivaldi” (Diapason).
Recorded in Italy in 2014.
Contains notes on the music.
Contains biographies of the artists.