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Thread: Vivaldi - five of the best.

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingélou View Post
    Vivaldi is so prolific, that I am perplexed as to where to start.

    I wonder if any of you who regularly listen to this composer could offer me a way to prioritise, as I shall be coming on to him next in my Baroque Listening Project.

    I am looking forward to this, because I have never heard anything of Vivaldi's that I didn't like.

    Please could you

    either provide a list of five pieces which are your favourites, or which you think I should listen to if I'm to learn anything about what makes Vivaldi great

    or - give me a list of pieces which would make up about five hours worth of listening.

    But of course lists on their own mean very little.

    It would be lovely to read some discussion about why you like Vivaldi - or don't like him, of course. A list of Vivaldi's good qualities - and a list of his weak points, as far as you're concerned. That would be just as useful to me, because I could listen out for those qualities and see if I agreed with you.

    Thank you in advance for any posts.
    The thing I enjoy most is a specific performance of the G minor flute concerto, op 10/2 (La Notte) here


    Il cimento dell armonia e dell inventione also, try also to hear Harnoncourt. Vivaldi seems to me to have inspired Harnoncourt with some of his most imaginative music making. Bruggen also made quite a good set of the op 10 flute concertos.
    Last edited by Mandryka; May-02-2019 at 08:44.

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  3. #32
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    Stabat Mater preferably with countertenor Andreas Scholl.

    Dixit Dominus with tenor Ugo Benelli; you can download it from Amazon plus 10 hours of Baroque classics for less than $1.

    Any of his choral music lead by Vittorio Negri, especially Domine ad adujandum me, Lauda Jerusalem and/or either Gloria.

    Concerto in G for strings RV 151 "Alla Rustica"

    Concerto Grosso in A minor for 2 Violins RV 552 Op. 8 No. 3

    Concerto in G minor for 2 Cellos RV 531

    Concerto in B flat major for Violin and Cello RV 547

    Concerto in A major for Violin and Cello RV 546

    Concerto for Violin RV 362 Op. 8 No. 10 "La Caccia"

    Concerto for Flute in F major RV 433 "La Tempesta di Mare"

    Concerto in Flute in G minor RV 439 "La Notte"

    Concerto in Flute in D major RV 428 "Il Gardellino"

    The Four Seasons transcribed for flute by Galway

    The Four Seasons transcribed for organ by Yevgenia Lisitsina

    Concerto in G minor for Flute, Bassoon, Strings & Harpsichord "La Notte"

    Concerto Grosso in D RV 562a/P. 444 from Carmel Kaine, ASMF and Marriner

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  5. #33
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    Default Flute Sonatas and Cello Concertos

    Off the beaten Vivaldi path you will find (small) treasures such as his chamber music with flute.

    Ingelou wanted us to explain why we liked what we liked. My reason for liking Vivaldi's flute music is that it doesn't have that "sensation-seeking" virtuoso element where the solo violin goes into "glamorous" or the need to impress just for the sake of impressing. (I find a lot of this in Italian Baroque in general - that's why my favorite among the Italian Baroque composers is Albinoni - he has played down the element of virtuosity in his oeuvre.)

    The cd I have Vivaldi's flute music from the Accord label is out of print, but it can be downloaded on amazon:


    For some reason I can't explain when I listen to Vivaldi's concertos I prefer the ones for cello... especially as played by Yo-Yo Ma with Ton Koopman on Sony and by Sol Gabetta :

    "I only have a hunch in what I've become expert." - Leonard Cohen

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  7. #34
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    In the early days of the period revival, it was easy... I'd have simply recommended a selection of Vivaldi recordings from Trevor Pinnock and Christopher Hogwood, and that would be that. However, things have changed. In recent decades, many new period groups have recorded Vivaldi's opus extensively. There have been numerous world premieres, as well as recordings of revised & more 'authentic' performing editions, and reconstructions of 'lost' Vivaldi works. In Italy particularly, there has been an explosion of excellent Vivaldi recordings from various period groups--many of whom are represented in the Naive Vivaldi Edition. So I'm not surprised to see you asking for suggestions of just 5 recordings! It is indeed overwhelming to navigate through the large quantity of Vivaldi recordings presently in the catalogue. It's also difficult to narrow down my recommendations, considering how comprehensively Vivaldi's opus has been recorded.

    One option: You could simply buy a number of the Naive Vivaldi Edition discount box sets (of the Concertos vols. 1 & 2, the Violin Concertos, the Sacred Music, Voices, etc.), and be done with it, and that's not a bad way to go; however, while I enjoy a good number of the recordings from the Naive series, that's not what I'd most recommend doing. Plus, the series is still 'in progress'--so presumably, there will be future sets, and when it's finished, likely a gigantic box set.

    Or, you could simply buy one (or two) of the other excellent discount box sets--from (1) Trevor Pinnock & The English Concert, or (2) Christopher Hogwood & The Academy of Ancient Music, or (3) Fabio Biondi & L'Europa Galante, or (4) Giuliano Carmignola & the Venice Baroque Orchestra, or (5) Frederico Guglielmo & L'Arte dell' Arco's comprehensive set of Opuses 1-12, which includes both the essential chamber sonatas & concerto sets: Each of the these box sets is recommendable. Yet it's seldom ideal to buy everything performed by one ensemble--except for those on a limited budget (or lacking in patience), since it's a great way to hear a huge quantity of music that otherwise can take a long time to collect individually.

    Here's what I'd suggest instead:

    The following list--which I'll spread out over three posts--has the makings of an excellent 'basic' Vivaldi collection---if you're willing to do a good amount of sampling, in order to pick and choose from among my various suggestions for each essential work or set of concerti. Obviously, I'm going to offer a lot more than the requested five recommendations, but there will be plenty of You Tube links below to allow you to decide which recordings you most like--if you're willing to take the time to do so. In order to make the list more manageable, I've placed an asterisk * (or two) by those recordings that I'd consider to be most special (although tastes will vary). If you're game, I'd suggest that you do your sampling one section at a time, and not all at once. However, if that's inconvenient, you could focus on the discs that I've marked with 2 asterisks, as it will be a much shorter list.

    I. I'm especially drawn to Vivaldi's concertos for diverse instruments, in various combinations, and particularly those for wind instruments & strings. One of my first classical music LPs was a Philips recording of 6 Double Concerti by Vivaldi performed by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, led by Sir Neville Marriner**, and I still treasure that recording to this day:; along with an ASMF Philips recording of the Mandolin and Lute Concerti played on guitars by Los Romeros: Pepe, Angel, Celedonio, & Celin Romero, & led by Iona Brown*: which includes Vivaldi's famous Mandolin Concerto in C major, RV 425: Both recordings offer first rate musicianship, & are played on modern instruments.

    However, in recent decades, I've come to prefer a number of period instrument recordings of the diverse concerti--especially those by Ensemble Zefiro (in two of my favorite issues from the Naive Edition), the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, The English Concert, L'Europa Galante, & La Serenissima:

    *1. Ensemble Zefiro, led by Alfredo Bernardini--2 CDs: *"Concerti per vari strumenti", and *"Concerti for Diverse Instruments" (which includes Vivaldi's famous Concerto for 2 Trumpets, RV 537):

    **2. Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, led by Nicholas McGegan: This is a Professor Johnson 24-bit recording made using the High Definition Compatible Process, issued by Reference Recordings, which translated means it sounds very, very good. Plus, it's a well chosen program of music:

    *3. La Serenissima, led by Adrian Chandler--this is one of the leading Vivaldi groups today:

    4. L'Europa Galante, led by Fabio Biondi--Concerti con molti instrumenti, Vols. 1 & 2:
    Volume 1:
    Volume 2:

    The Biondi recordings are also available in a bargain box set, but as I've said, I don't generally recommend 'one stop shopping' when building a collection, unless the price is too attractive to pass on:

    *5. Concerti per L'Orchestra di Dresda, or concerti for woodwinds & strings, composed for the Dresden Hofkapelle in the time of Bach and Vivaldi's friend and former pupil, the Dresden composer & violinist, Johann Georg Pisendel (who added ornamentation to the concerti). Here the prominence of the Pisendel's 1st violin in his Dresden-style orchestra (an early incarnation of the Staatskapelle Dresden) competes beautifully with the horns and oboes. Personally, I find these Dresden concerti to include some of Vivaldi's best music. Those listeners that agree with Igor Stravinsky's quip that Vivaldi wrote the same concerto hundreds of times, should try to hear these Concerti--along with Vivaldi's other concerti for woodwinds & strings, as their inventiveness puts Stravinsky's criticism to rest, IMO. I know three superb recordings of the Dresden Concerti:

    **A. The English Concert, led by Trevor Pinnock--"7 Concerti for woodwinds and strings": While Pinnock offers only one of the Dresden Concerti on this Archiv CD (see YT link below), it's a beauty, & the other 6 Concerti for woodwind and strings are just as special. This is a late Pinnock recording with The English Consort, having been made in 1995, and IMO, it's one of his best Vivaldi discs:

    *B. Les Ambassadeurs, led by Alexis Kossenko:

    *C. Freiburger Barockorchester, led by violinist Gottfried von der Goltz: This recording is part of the Naive Edition:, and is also available in the following set:

    D. On modern instruments, trumpeter Ludwig Güttler's Virtuosi Saxoniae--an excellent ensemble that is comprised of principals from the Staatskapelle Dresden, who, as the Dresden Hofkapelle once premiered Vivaldi's Dresden Concerti--have recorded a superb 8 CD box set entitled "Music for the Dresden Court"--which can be heard on YT. The set includes music by Dresden court composers such as Vivaldi, Zelenka, Telemann, Fasch, Pisendel, & Hasse. Recommended, if you're interested in exploring this repertory more widely:

    II. Violin Concerti--I'm also keen on Vivaldi's Concerti for one, two, three, & four violins. Many of his finest violin concerti derive from the L'Estro Armonico, Op. 3 set, which is essential Vivaldi (see my recommendations below), and his Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione" or "The Trial of Harmony and Invention" Op. 8 set, which includes the famous "Four Seasons". Again, you'll have to sample & choose between my various suggestions below, if interested; although I should warn you that it's a crowded field, as there are many first rate recordings of the Violin Concerti, and he composed a huge quantity of them. I might add that Stravinsky's claim does perhaps gain some credence here; although personally, I seldom tire of hearing Vivaldi's inventive dialogues between two, three, & four violins:

    1. Violin Concerti for one violin:

    --Early Violin Concertos--played by period violinist Florian Deuter (a former 1st violinist of Musica Antique Köln), and Harmonie Universelle, on 2 CDs: (There are concerti for 2 violins in this set, too.)

    --*Late Violin Concertos--played by Giuliano Carmignola, with the Venice Baroque Orchestra, led by Andrea Marcon--on 2 CDs:


    By the way, Carmignola's complete Sony recordings have been reissued in a discount box set, but it appears to have already gone out of print(?):

    (There are also superb recordings by Carmignola of the Violin Concerti on the Divox Antiqua label, his first label, & I've listed them below in the "Four Seasons" section--see my second post.)

    --Late Violin Concerti: As an alternative to Carmignola, Fabio Biondi has also recorded Vivaldi's last Violin Concertos:

    --Concerti per violino, I "La Caccia": played by period violinist Enrico Onofri, with the Academia Montis Regalis, led by Alessandro de Marchi:

    --*Concerti per violino, II "Di sfida"--composed to show off a violinist's virtuosity: Here stunningly played by violinist Anton Steck (who's one of my favorite period violinists), and Modo Antiquo, led by Federico Maria Sardelli:

    (Both of the above recordings are available in the following Naive box set:

    --If you wish to explore further, the following release from violinist Enrico Casazza & La Magnifica Comunitá is excellent, too:

    --La Serenissima's recordings of the Violin Concerti are also excellent:

    --Musica Alchemica, led by violinist Lina Tur Bonet, are likewise excellent, & include a number of world premieres, based on revised performing editions:

    2. Violin Concerti for two violins:

    --**Concerti for two violins: Gli Incognita, led by period violinists Amadine Beyer and Giuliano Carmignola. IMO, this is one of the best Vivaldi releases of recent years:

    --Violin Concerti for two violins, etc.: Aston Magna, with violinists Stanley Ritchie & Jaap Schröder: This was a great favorite of mine on LP** (released by Nonesuch in 1983), but the CD is a 1980s release, and may need a new remastering?, despite that the digital LP was well recorded for its day:

    --Concerti for two violins: played by violinists Giulano Carmignola & Viktoria Mullova, with the Venice Baroque Orchestra:

    3. Violin Concerti for three & four violins:

    --*Concerti for 3 & 4 violins--played by Ensemble 415, led by violinist Chiara Banchini, on the Zig-Zag label, and reissued by Alpha. These are superb performances, but most of the concerti on this CD are drawn from the L'Estro Armonico, Op. 3 set (but not all):

    II. For the complete L'Estro Armonico, Op. 3 set, my three favorite recordings are from (1) violinist Stefano Montanari & Accademia Bizantina, led by Ottavio Dantone, (2) Trevor Pinnock & The English Concert, and (3) L'Europe Galante, led by Fabio Biondi--which can all be heard and sampled on You Tube, & all three are exceptional:

    **1. Accademia Bizantina, led by Ottavio Dantone: This is one of the finest L'Estro Armonico (& Vivaldi) recordings I've heard. I prefer it to their Op. 8 set, where they tried more daring tempi, and I don't think it worked quite as successfully.

    *2. The English Concert, led by Trevor Pinnock: For me, what separates Pinnock's Vivaldi from Hogwood's is that Archiv has generally given Pinnock slightly better sound engineering--at least, when heard on CD. Plus, The Academy of Ancient Music under Hogwood has a slightly grittier early period revival string sound than The English Concert--which may not be to all tastes. However, the choice is easier in regards to Op. 3, as Pinnock's set was digitally recorded, and Hogwood's wasn't--it's analogue:

    *3. L'Europa Galante, led by Fabio Biondi:

    With that said, I've not heard Rachel Podger's Op. 3 with Brecon Baroque: Nor have I heard L'Arte dell'Arco's Op. 3, either, as their box set is a recent purchase for me. But, so far, I can report that their survey is very lively & generally well-played, so I'd expect their Op. 3 set is good:

    To be continued in a second post... next up: The Four Seasons.
    Last edited by Josquin13; May-20-2019 at 21:42.

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  9. #35
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    Sorry, but I'm having trouble posting edits--as one of my links was incorrect, etc., so I'm going to have to repost.

    Edit: I keep trying to post part 2 of my Vivaldi recommendations, with edits, but the response I get is 'access denied'. So apparently, I can't post on this thread anymore? although oddly enough, I can still edit here, but not re-post. Any suggestions?
    Last edited by Josquin13; May-21-2019 at 23:16.

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  11. #36
    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    There may be some script preventing a user from triple posting, especially with your signature extensive posts (an overzealous anti-spam measure perhaps). Try it now that there is a post separating the next from your previous two.
    Last edited by flamencosketches; Yesterday at 01:01.

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