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Christophe Coin's New Vivaldi

Available at Amazon:
available at Amazon
Vivaldi, Concerti for Violoncello I, Christophe Coin, Il Giardino Armonico, Giovanni Antonini
(released May 29, 2007)
Vivaldi Edition:
available at Amazon
Griselda (2006)

available at Amazon
Arie d'opera, with Sandrine Piau (2005)

available at Amazon
La verità in cimento (2003)
A recent release in the growing Vivaldi Edition from Naïve, vol. 34, contains the first installment of the Venetian composer's concerti for cello. Christophe Coin, a recent favorite at Ionarts, joined Il Giardino Armonico for five cello concerti, as well as one for violoncello piccolo and an unusual double concerto for cello and bassoon. Coin, playing an instrument made by Alessandro Gagliano around 1720, has a lean but flavorful sound graced by tasteful embellishments. Over half of Vivaldi's output of concerti is intended for solo violin, and it is always good to be reminded that he did compose for other instruments. In fact, the Red Priest was one of the first composers to write concerti for the cello (about 30 of them) in the early 18th century. As is generally true of Vivaldi's corpus, especially the concerti, some of the works selected for this recording are better than others, but all are performed well.

The A minor concerto (RV 419, first on the disc) has exciting outer movements, particularly the last movement, a series of variations on an ostinato bass pattern. The continuo section of Il Giardino Armonico stands out from the ensemble by creating pleasing textures, alternately suave and crunchy. In the first movement of RV 410, Riccardo Doni's harpsichord and the Baroque guitar of Luca Pianta offer percussive backgrounds to the melody. The slow movement of the D minor concerto (RV 406) is one of the most melancholy pieces, with soft and daring theorbo realization of the continuo line, again by Luca Pianta. Conductor Giovanni Antonini encourages active sounds, without seeming to opt for fast tempos only for the sake of virtuosity, although there are some daringly fast movements. As in the first movement of RV 398, Antonini seems concerned only with finding the just tempo for each character. When the Vivaldi edition is completed, we will have a much more complete understanding of this extraordinary, sometimes maligned composer.

Naïve OP 30426


Anonymous said...

For once, I have a recording before you blog it!

I do agree with your view on this one. But do you know why the cover art for this series takes its artistic inspiration from Benetton ads?

I might note that Concerto Italiano, which was featured on Ionarts a few days ago, has made recordings for the Vivaldi Edition--including my favorite one to date of the series, the pastiche 2CD Vespri per l'Assunzione.... The works are not obscurities, but hearing them as a connected cycle in a liturgical context (an approximation of a Venestian vespers service such as Vivaldi might have produced) put them in a fresh light.

Charles T. Downey said...

Thanks for the comment! Jens and I agree that the cover art for these discs are, ahem, no impediment to our enjoyment of them.

I know of that Assumption CD but have not reviewed it. In fact, the only real review we have published on the Vivaldi edition, I think, is the Griselda (click on the image in the article). However, Jens and I are both big fans of many of the releases in the series, especially the operas.

Mark Barry said...

I thought it was a new Prince cd...:)

Anonymous said...

Prince for sure!