The Naïve label has been issuing several CDs a year in its continuing Vivaldi series whose purpose is to record all the music contained in the Vivaldi autograph manuscripts held in the National University Bibliotheque (Biblioteca Nazionale Universitaria) in Turin, about 450 works in all. These manuscripts were those in Vivaldi's own home library at the time of his death in 1741.
This CD contains seven oboe concerti (presented in this order: RV 447, 455, 451, 463, 457, 453, 450). The oboist is Alfredo Bernardini, who is also one of the founding members of Zefiro. Three of the concerti (RV455, 463, 453) were originally recorded and released on the Astrée label in 1994. The others were recorded for this CD in 2008. These concerti represent a little less than half of the oboe concerti Vivaldi wrote. (One has to be careful about numbers when writing about Vivaldi's oeuvre because new works are always turning up.) The oboe had only recently been introduced in Italy when Vivaldi wrote his first work using the instrument. All of this CD's concerti have three movements. Some passages of note: in the slow movement of RV 455 the oboe is accompanied by unison violins alone and its finale is a jig; the finale of RV 451 quotes the 'Peccator videbit' movement of Vivaldi's familiar 'Beatus vir' (RV 597); the first movement of RV 450 uses the main theme from the aria 'Scocca dardi' from his opera 'Griselda' (also recorded in this series) Vivaldi: Griselda (Vivaldi Edition)
. The three concerti RV 450, 457 & 463 were adapted from three of Vivaldi's bassoon concerti.
The playing here is vigorous, soulful or songful in turn. Bernardini is a master of his instrument and Zefiro is completely in tune with his musical intentions.