The Spirit of Vivaldi’s Venice If we could peek into the record and CD collections of listeners throughout the world, then we would without doubt always find at least one item by Vivaldi there, even if the owner’s taste was not specifically classically orientated. This is in itself not surprising. When we glimpse through the CD catalogues we can find more than 160 versions of Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ alone, followed by numerous recordings of various concerti for wind, string, and plucked instruments not to mention operatic and vocal works. This ‘overkill’ factor as regards certain of the more glamorous and grand works of Vivaldi has not been of assistance to the listener attempting to define a more complete view of the composer’s oeuvre. The cello sonatas on this disc have only begun to enjoy the interest of performers fairly recently due to the fact that they are intimate and more difficult to interpret than the above mentioned larger scale works: these sonatas require the performer to deal very carefully with tempi and phrasing, to switch off highly virtuoso passagework with contrasting moods of extreme cantabile delicacy all within the framework of a small ensemble. They also require special attention to the details of continuo playing and instrumentation which at times is almost orchestra-like….
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