Vivaldi is generally one of the sunniest of composers, and a soft Mediterranean light certainly filters through these five works.
This lovely disc is worth its price alone for the first of the two lute concertos - here played by the great Narciso Yepes on guitar - which has a central five-minute Largo movement that is about as meditative as Vivaldi ever gets, and all the more impressive for that. Yepes and the Orchestre de Chambre play with all the gravitas at their disposal. The result is captivating. Indeed, the musicianship displayed on all the works here is pretty much flawless.
On the second of the concerti on the disc, we hear Monique Frasca-Colombier on Viola d`amore alongside Yepes. This work too has a beguiling Largo, this time a lighter, more languid one. The combination of guitar, viola and the chamber orchestra is disarmingly delightful. A lovely work.
Takashi and Silvia Ochi are the two players on the concerto for mandolin and concerto for two mandolins, both of which are utterly charming, the instrument happily suiting the composer and this musical form.
A final concerto for 2 flutes, 2 bassoons, 2 violins, 2 guitars, `cello, strings and harpsichord ends this recital - Vivaldi must have been feeling particularly expansive that day. It`s a marvellous piece.
I highly recommend these five concerti by the irrepressible Venetian, and this rather wonderful disc - despite (in my copy, anyway) a complete lack of any notes other than track listings and artists` names. Any chance to hear Yepes in his prime is worth seizing, and he plays like a dream.