ANTONIO VIVALDI - Teatro Alla Moda

ANTONIO VIVALDI - Teatro Alla Moda - Violin Concertos - Amandine Beyer (Violin) - Gli Incogniti - 3149020222126 - Released: October 2015 - Harmonia Mundi HMC902221

1} Sinfonia de "L'Olimpiade" in C major, RV 725
2} Concerto per Violino in F major, RV 282
3} Concerto per Violino scordato in B minor, RV 391
4} Concerto per Violino in D major, RV 228
5} Concerto per Violino RV 314a (Adagio)
6} Concerto per Violino in G minor, RV 323
7} Concerto per Violino in G minor, RV 322
8} Concerto per "Violino in Tromba" in G major, RV 313
9} Ballo Primo de "Arsilda Regina di Ponto" in G minor, RV 700
10} Concerto per Violino in G minor, RV 316 (Giga)
11} Concerto per Violino in B flat major, RV 372a (Andante)
12} Largo RV 228

With anything and everything readily available to us today at the simple click of a mouse, it is sometimes too easy for us to forget that back in the time of Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), if you wanted entertainment you pretty well had to create it yourself. Without the luxury of radio, television, recordings, the internet, and limited travel, every little town needed to have its own little concert stage/musical theatre/petting zoo combo to satisfy the populace. Playwrights, performers and musicians were a dime a dozen and in high demand at the time. Composers had to think on their feet. Much in the same way that Bach had to write new music for each and every religious service throughout the liturgical year, Vivaldi had to compose new music for the theatre, special events, ceremonies, dances, music classes, concerts, new performers, etc ..... more or less like today's "pop" music is churned out for the masses. It had to be light, entertaining, as well as dramatic and, challenge and expose the musicians' talents and showcase the soloist's technique.

Violinist Amandine Beyer and the Gli incogniti ensemble really 'play to the gallery' here in this exquisite recording, by highlighting this music's theatrical and entertaining nature, without turning it into a freak show or quasi-psychedelic experience by cranking up the tempos and exaggerating the virtuosity like some other present day ensembles are prone to do. Amandine Beyer's virtuosity speaks for itself and is always at the service of the music without resorting to special effects and/or acting like a rock star. She and her ensemble provide a HIP (Historically Informed Performance) interpretation without sounding dry or pedantic. They breathe a fresh spirit into each Concerto which sets it apart and brings out it's unique qualities. Highlights here include the Concerto per Violino scordato in B minor, RV 391 and the Concerto per Violino in G minor, RV 322. The superb Harmonia Mundi recording well projects this tight, instinctive and energetic account. Within the 200 or so available recordings of the Four Seasons, their version has always come highly recommended. This new recording will surely garner the same praise in short order.

Below is a previous video of this group playing Vivaldi.

Jean-Yves Duperron - October 2015