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Vivaldi: Il Cimento dell'Armonia e dell'Inventione


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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Concerto No. 1 in E major Op. 8 No. 1 RV 269, 'La primavera' from 'I quattroni stgaioni': I. Allegro 3:01£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Concerto No. 1 in E major Op. 8 No. 1 RV 269, 'La primavera' from 'I quattroni stgaioni': II. Largo 2:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Concerto No. 1 in E major Op. 8 No. 1 RV 269, 'La primavera' from 'I quattroni stgaioni': III. Allegro 3:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Concerto No. 2 in G minor Op. 8 No. 2 RV 315, 'L'estate', from 'I quattroni stagioni': I. Allegro non molto 5:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Concerto No. 2 in G minor Op. 8 No. 2 RV 315, 'L'estate', from 'I quattroni stagioni': II. Adagio 1:49£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Concerto No. 2 in G minor Op. 8 No. 2 RV 315, 'L'estate', from 'I quattroni stagioni': III. Presto 2:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Concerto No. 3 in F major Op. 8 No. 3 RV 293, 'L'autunno' from 'I quattro stagioni': I. Allegro 4:48£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Concerto No. 3 in F major Op. 8 No. 3 RV 293, 'L'autunno' from 'I quattro stagioni': II. Adagio-Presto 2:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Concerto No. 3 in F major Op. 8 No. 3 RV 293, 'L'autunno' from 'I quattro stagioni': III. Allegro 3:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Concerto No. 4 in F minor Op. 8 No. 4 RV 297, 'L'inverno' from 'I quattri stagioni': I. Allegro non molto 3:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Concerto No. 4 in F minor Op. 8 No. 4 RV 297, 'L'inverno' from 'I quattri stagioni': II. Largo 1:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Concerto No. 4 in F minor Op. 8 No. 4 RV 297, 'L'inverno' from 'I quattri stagioni': III. Allegro 2:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Concerto No. 5 in E flat major Op. 8 No. 5 RV 253, 'La tempesta di mare' (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione): I. Presto 2:54£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Concerto No. 5 in E flat major Op. 8 No. 5 RV 253, 'La tempesta di mare' (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione): II. Largo 2:06£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Concerto No. 5 in E flat major Op. 8 No. 5 RV 253, 'La tempesta di mare' (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione): III. Presto 3:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Concerto No. 7 in D minor Op. 8 No. 7 RV 242 (from 'Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione'): I. Allegro 3:17£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Concerto No. 7 in D minor Op. 8 No. 7 RV 242 (from 'Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione'): II. Largo0:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Concerto No. 7 in D minor Op. 8 No. 7 RV 242 (from 'Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione'): III. Allegro 2:31£0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Concerto No. 11 in D major Op. 8 No. 11 RV 210 (from 'Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione'): I. Allegro 4:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Concerto No. 11 in D major Op. 8 No. 11 RV 210 (from 'Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione'): II. Largo 2:13£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Concerto No. 11 in D major Op. 8 No. 11 RV 210 (from 'Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione'): III. Allegro 4:10£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Concerto No. 10 in B flat major Op. 8 No. 10 RV 362, 'La caccia' (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione): I. Allegro 2:58£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Concerto No. 10 in B flat major Op. 8 No. 10 RV 362, 'La caccia' (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione): II. Adagio 1:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Concerto No. 10 in B flat major Op. 8 No. 10 RV 362, 'La caccia' (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione): III. Allegro 2:29£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Concerto No. 9 in D minor Op. 8 No. 9 RV 236 (from 'Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione'): I. Allegro 2:48£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Concerto No. 9 in D minor Op. 8 No. 9 RV 236 (from 'Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione'): II. Adagio 2:05£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Concerto No. 9 in D minor Op. 8 No. 9 RV 236 (from 'Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione'): III. Allegro 2:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Concerto No. 8 in G minor Op. 8 No. 8 RV 332 (from 'Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione'): I. Allegro 2:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Concerto No. 8 in G minor Op. 8 No. 8 RV 332 (from 'Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione'): II. Largo 2:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Concerto No. 8 in G minor Op. 8 No. 8 RV 332 (from 'Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione'): III. Allegro 3:45£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Concerto No. 6 in C major Op. 8 No. 6 RV 180 (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8): I. Allegro 2:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Concerto No. 6 in C major Op. 8 No. 6 RV 180 (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8): II. Largo 2:20£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Concerto No. 6 in C major Op. 8 No. 6 RV 180 (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8): III. Allegro 2:38£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Concerto No. 12 in C major Op. 8 No. 12 RV 178 (from 'Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione'): I. Allegro 2:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Concerto No. 12 in C major Op. 8 No. 12 RV 178 (from 'Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione'): II. Largo 2:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Concerto No. 12 in C major Op. 8 No. 12 RV 178 (from 'Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione'): III. Allegro 3:10£0.99  Buy MP3 

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Amazon.com: 28 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
An excellent bargain 24 Aug. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
With so many recordings of the "Four Seasons" already available, do we need another one from Fabio Biondi and his Europa Galante, especially when they recorded these same concertos (using the same Manchester edition) a decade ago? Well, not really, but for everyone looking for a great Vivaldi bargain, this is it. Here you can have not only a vibrant and refreshing performance of the "Four Seasons," but excellent interpretations of the other eight concertos of "Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'invenzione," all in two CDs that cost less than the only one of Biondi's previous version for Opus 111. Biondi here is even more expressive than in his earlier recording, with some extreme variations in tempos, some prolonged pauses, more dynamic contrasts. It's the kind of touch that has become the rule recently (Kremer, Carmignola) and can make a performance interesting in the beginning, but not invite repeated listening. Here, though, Biondi performs with a warmth that wasn't entirely present in the Opus 111 CD, with a bigger orchestral body (nine violins, including him, compared to six previously), and the result is satisfying for much more than the novelties. I've heard only partially the new Carmignola/Venice Baroque Orchestra version, which I suppose battles with this new one for the dollars of the buyers. I thought the Carmignola version was a little more excentric than I would like. Many people seem to love it. Anyway, I doubt any of its fans would dislike this new recording, and Biondi comes with much more music for the same price. Right now, it's the "Four Seasons" to go for.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Not your momma's Four Seasons 12 April 2006
By wolfgang731 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Like most younger generation music enthusiasts, I'm sure, Vivaldi's Four Seasons played a very prominent role, in many cases serving as a portal through which many neophytes passed on their journey into the wonderful world of classical music. Even if attempted, how could one avoid it? These eternally ubiquitous concertos have seem to have been arranged for every instrument from harmonica and banjo to celesta and bass trombone and have served as the themes for countless films, including the Alan Alda picture of the same title. It's this same over exposure that would eventually turn my genuine fondness for these works into one of intense dislike. My disdain was so great that if I ever heard the concertos again it would be too soon. Enter the BBC and their weekly program "Building a Library" which featured Vivaldi's complete Op. 8, "Il Cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione" of which The Four Seasons are the first concerto. Normally I would just skip over a segment I didn't particularly care for, but I was interested in what the reviewer had to say about the other works, none of which, though popular, have ever quite achieved the status of the "Seasons." It was these works that held my attention throughout and I found the playing unbelievably intense and alive, with just the right amount of urgency to make the works sound fresh and exciting but never forced or rushed. That same afternoon, I purchased the CD and I couldn't believe what I heard. Even the "seasons" a work that I thought I could hum in my sleep, jumped off the CD and filled the room with amazing colors and a vivacity and relevance that was awe inspiring. Yes, it's incredibly fast where it needs to be, yet it's never done at the expense of the music. The music is not at the mercy of virtuoso ensemble, Europa Galante, but rather the other way around, seemingly swept away by their excitement at reshaping these war-horses into something new without distorting Vivaldi's ideas or beautiful melodies. Using a different manuscript than what is normally used, Biondi and company relish every opportunity to demonstrate just how significant these works can be. There are percussive elements and striking use of pizzicato, oboes replacing violins (as was Vivaldi's original intent) and greater prominence to the continuo. In short, this ain't your momma's Four Seasons. Even if you, like me, can't stand the thought of hearing Concerto No. 1 "Spring" ever again, give this incredible recital a chance; I guarantee you'll be blown away. By the way, the sound quality is through the roof, with striking clarity, presence and warmth.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Incredible Playing! 9 Feb. 2002
By Andrew M. Klein - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
We've all heard the Four Seasons a zillion times by numerous players. Well, buckle up: you've never heard anything like this! Biondi and his forces end any argument that anyone may have tried to mount favoring modern instruments over the originals. One simply cannot return to any modern instrument performance -- and probably not to any other performance by anyone, period -- after listening to this. If the Autumn segment doesn't give you bring tears of joy to your eyes and have you leaping out of your seat, shouting alocades, nothing will. See your doctor in that case. This is an absolute "must have" performance!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Exceptional Playing 12 July 2007
By David A. Wend - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Over the years my preference in Vivaldi records has run to Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music but this recording of Il cimento dell'armonica e dell'inventionae (the combat between harmony and invention) is certainly the most energetic and inventive performance that I have heard. What makes this recording different is that Europa Galanta has gone back to the original manuscripts preserved in the libraries of Manchester, Turin and Dresden. The manuscripts reveal a freedom with the manuscript versions on the concerto that does not exist with the published versions. Fabio Biondi examined the manuscripts and where there was multiple versions would sometimes combine ideas from both for tempi but reject notions made by hands other than Vivaldi's. The performance practice that comes out of the manuscripts brings different dynamics and tempi to the performance.

Antonio Vivaldi's opus 8 collection of concerti was meant to astonish with their brilliance of invention, experimenting with instrumental combinations and pushing the orchestral colors to their limits. Arguably, the prominent first four concertos - The Four Seasons - took the idea of invention and colorful description to new heights. However, the popularity of the first four concertos (The Four Seasons) of Vivaldi's opus 8 has come at the expense of relegating the remaining concerti of the collection to obscurity. There is no evidence that Vivaldi arranged the concertos in order of most superior to least and they are recorded here, except for the Four Seasons, out of their numbered order. The fifth concerto, la tempesta de mare, is an exuberant and tuneful concerto with alternate dramatic and calm that seems to depict the fury of a storm. The sixth concerto, Il piacere, explores the idea of pleasure using a laughter-like theme in the first movement, followed by a movement suggesting sleep and a dance-like finale.

The second disc in this set begins with concerto No. 11, which begins with an exuberant first movement followed by a beautifully reflective middle movement with an extensive solo violin part; the Finale is interplay of harmonies with the soloist pitting himself against the other players with a very demanding part. Another of the named concertos, la caccia (or the hunt) - the 10th concerto, follows and is a real tour-de-force with its bold rhythms. The 8th, 9th and 12th concerti explore a richness of melody and invention that is astonishing: the 12th is a joyful concerto with the players leaping to high and low register and the 9th with its more reflective character with the soloist playing a more intimate part.

The music is beautifully recorded and balanced and it is accompanied with a very informative booklet that includes remarks by Fabio Biondi as to how he selected the versions of the concerti played here. A very rewarding set that will be of interest despite how many copies of the Four Seasons you might already have.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Update 9 Jun. 2008
By Giordano Bruno - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There are already twenty-two reviews of this CD set, 19 of them 5-star and many of them ample in their analyses. This is by far the most exciting performance of Il Cimento dell'Armonia available for a reasonable price. The only serious competition is Reinhard Goebel's legendary recording with Musica Antiqua Koeln, which is costly.

What's the essence of a Baroque violin concerto? It's utter flamboyance. It's the concert-master violinist, standing forth from the ensemble and fiddling like the very red-haired devil. Fabio Biondi has gained a bit of weight since the days of this recording, and he's played The Four Seasons far too often to have the same enthusiasm as in his youth, but he still presents "la bella figura", standing with his back to the audience while conducting the tutti sections, and then stepping to the edge of the stage to scatter Vivaldi's abbundanza of figurations to the adoring house. One feels the improvisational virtuosity Vivaldi himself must have displayed.

For listeners who are ready to progress beyond the Four Seasons into Vivaldi's huge repertoire of vocal music, I recommend the oratorio Juditha Triumphans, a triumph indeed, and a showcase of bravura singing and brilliant instrumentation.
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