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.

New Discoveries

Vivaldi new discoveries 1 Modo Antiquo, an Italian ensemble led by the seemingly creative and colorful Federico Maria Sardelli (flauto), has recorded in this release, the first of "New Discoveries"--compositions by Antonio Vivaldi. Included a few vocal works (performed by Romina Basso, a mezzo-soprano), a few concertos, and a few sonatas (for duos and solo instruments). It helps that Sardelli has taken over the Ryom catalog of Vivaldi's works, and is in the perfect position to come across newly-discovered specimens to add to the Vivaldi catalogue. The high RV numbers attest to this, i.e., RV 798, 810, etc. The solo violin makes a big splash here, played by Enrico Casazza. Features are two violin sonatas (RV 798 and RV 810), which M. Talbot says fall in somewhere between Vivaldi's "Sonate di Dresda" and his so-called Manchester Sonatas in style. A g-minor concerto (sans RV number) for oboe and cello is an interesting find, for I can't recall any such double concertos by Vivaldi with this combination of instrumentation. It's quite clearly Vivaldi in the language, but I felt the recording suffered here despite an otherwise well-captured recording. For some reason, in this concerto, the sound feels pinched. A recorder sonatas in G (RV 806) is performed by Sardelli himself. Good tempi are chosen; there is a point where the work turns quite virtuosic, requiring technical acumen with articulation. It's done very well. The opening concerto, with a close cousin to be found in L'estro Armonico, is especially interesting, as it appears to be a new but "lost early" version of the one published in Amsterdam. The string playing here especially is well done, with good continuo and an always able violinist. The mezzo-soprano range is not my favorite, as I prefer a man to take on this range (e.g. countertenor). However, Ms. Basso succeeds here in the readings of the solo aria, a motet, and another aria, with her technical abilities. She uses vibrato, but at a level that's still convincing to me as appropriate to the music. It's hard to compare the works here with anything else since they are, to quote Sardelli, "fresh fruit." If you have thought you'd heard all the Vivaldi there is to hear, here's a new take, for sure! The mixture of pieces, from sonatas, vocal numbers, and concertos, is a real solid concert of Vivaldi. I'm sorry it took me so long to discover this recording of "New Discoveries." Warmly recommended.

Organ Concertos, op. 7

Neapolitan Cello Concertos