I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

Vivaldi: Concerti per violoncello 1

Il Giardino Armonico and Christophe Coin record Vivaldi Cello Concertos, (p) 2007 naïve Cello Concertos It was in Il Proteo that IGA and Coin joined forces long ago, on Teldec Classics. Onofri returns to IGA and records in the Turin-series, this time around focused on cello concerti by Vivaldi. Compare this to the 2-CD set by Dieltiens and Ensemble Explorations. During slow movements, Coin reminds me of his (much) earlier recordings doing Vivaldi sonatas with Hogwood on Decca's Florilegium label, L'Oiesau-Lyre. It's the same sound, the same style. What surprised me first about this recording was the careful, deliberate tempi IGA chose, in contrast to their typical, more-spirited paces. There is much to like (and perhaps dislike) in these tempi choices. On the good side, we hear very clearly (thanks to good miking) all the details and "barqueness" in Vivaldi's solo lines. On the bad, some tracks lack the passion and toe-tapping factor that I had come to appreciate with Roel Dieltiens' recordings on Harmonia Mundi. IGA's sound is good, well-recorded, and includes richness with the use of lute and bassoon. After listening for some time, taking in IGA's typical use of dynamics, I feel that Coin is too close in the recording; he is so up-front that the dynamic range of the orchestra seems out of place with his own dynamic range. Of course, there are some gems that Dieltiens never recorded, like RV 409. Yes, my favorite first violinist has a few nods with the cello in this work; we might imagine Vivaldi playing along with a beloved pupil who had gained mastery on the cello. This is an intimate recording, very clear. This is not, however, the most flamboyant of the IGA recordings. Antonini left the fire burning slow and dormant. This is not to say the drama is "dead," but it's less extrovert. I've never considered Coin an extrovert player, so I think the two complement each other well. The booklet includes an essay by long-time admired Vivaldi scholar, Michael Talbot. Pictures are included in the booklet, too, of Coin, Antonini, and the ensemble. In tracks performed by Ensemble Explorations, I think the over-all concept is better done. This CD by IGA and Coin is good, but Dieltiens is likely a superior cellist, and the musicality (but likely not the sheer quality in the recording) is bettered on the earlier Harmonia Mundi recordings. I enjoy these concerti so, however, that I don't mind having both, and looking forward to more.

After Mr. Vivaldi Eats Dinner

Emerson Quartet on Bach's "Art of Fugue"