I reviewed this recording on September 2, 2003. It's worth revisiting, in light of the fact that CZ has just completed their six-disc set of Bach Concertos. What strikes me about the recording beyond the strong contributions from the *ripieno* and soloists combined is the sound quality of the recording… Avison was much like Geminiani, he was in the re-arrangement business. For me, these pieces are far less recognizable as works of Scarlatti. The pieces are all very approachable and "audience friendly," especially with the fire-y movements like the final Allegro of the D minor (no. 3) concerto. It's as masculine as you may get from the recording, and if I dare say, turning the hi-fi up too loud as you sit among the musicians in a recording that's on par with those marketed as "surround sound," good times are ahead.
I remember from some time ago listening to Avison's concertos and when I had the chance recently, I bought up this disc containing 6 of the 12. And what a shame it wasn't a 2-disc set with all 12, for the recording, performance, and package are all first-rate. Pablo Valetti, of Rare Fruits fame, leads the ensemble of enthusiastic period performers. The sound quality from their instruments is superb, their reading of affekt commendable. The acoustic of a hospital chapel, when recorded, made me feel I was sitting among the musicians. The close miking, yet reverbrant hall make for an excellent recorded sound. The third and fifth concerto were my favorite. Almost makes you wish Scarlatti himself wrote more string music. At times like Corelli, but completely something new, these concertos took inspiration from rare works by Scarlatti, transcribed from keyboard versions. The fresh sound on the disc reveals some great music, and I can't imagine it being played much better. A surprise perhaps, but also a very warm recommendation. The style of performance impressed me greatly. Cafe Zimmerman perform Charles Avison's Concertos based on the Keyboard works of Domenico Scarlatti, (p) 2002 Alpha Productions. Highly recommended.