Sergio Azzolini performs concertos by Don Antonio Vivaldi on bassoon with L'aura Soave Cremona. As part of the on going Vivaldi editions by Naïve of music found in the library of Turin, this is the second installment of bassoon concertos. Included in the 76 minute recording are: * RV 499 in a * RV 472 in C * RV 490 in F * RV 496 in g * RV 504 in B-flat * RV 483 in E-flat * RV 470 in C The string ensemble here has a very soft, gentle texture which works well to project the soloist in the recording. Azzolini, I wager, is a gifted bassoonist, expressively taking Vivaldi's music with interesting shading of dynamics and a variety of attack and articulation. While the opening concerto is pretty typical; the second (RV 472) opens with an almost hurdy-gurdy type backdrop with a nice solo opening on top for bassoon. By the end, the concerto finishes on with a positive, theatrical vibe. RV 496 in my favorite key of G-minor is an odd bird; it opens straight away without fanfare, but then leaves plenty for the soloist and band both to interject for dramatic interest. L'aura soave and Azzolini mostly follow suit, they stay within a very neat decorum, but I could have used even more. The closing to this concerto is more of the Sturm and Drang variety I like in a well-wrought Vivaldi minor-key concerto. Azzolini's instrument, in its higher register, sings sweetly. The upper strings need a little more focus. RV 483 sounds like the opening of an operatic work; here's where bringing the string ensemble forward might have helped the entire result. The rapid bowing and the unison lines would have been all the more exciting closer to the listener. At times, I almost feel like the bassoonist is on stage and the strings are in the orchestra pit. That said, they tackle this work, along with its technical challenges at the tempo they chose so well. The one concerto with which I was already familiar was the closing choice of the disc, RV 470. They chose to slow down the opening in a way with which was very different from my earlier recording; After some 50 seconds in, the solo starts, and despite their leisure with this piece, it works, and at 1:12 or so in, they pick up the pace a bit. I love the interpretive liberties they took. They could have played it "straight" but chose instead to go for something more dramatic. Again, the balance between soloist and continuo (in this case) for the slow movement of RV 470 would have been bettered if the lute and organ (or celli, as used here) was right next to the bassoon. My issues with balance aside, this is an expressive, well-done traversal of seven bassoon concertos by Vivaldi. Recommended.