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VINE VOICEon 20 March 2013
In his liner notes, the distinguished musicologist Olivier Fourès observes that all the concertos on this disc date after 1729 - Vivaldi's final decade, in other words, when many of his energies were devoted to opera (and indeed Fourès highlights parallels between Griselda and RV189, for example). Much of this music is undeniably dramatic in character regardless of any direct correspondence between the concertos recorded here and Vivaldi's works for the stage, like the wonderful Concerto in e that opens the set. Remarkably, Fourès neglects to mention the slow movement to RV254 - not just the most dramatic movement on the CD but arguably of Vivaldi's entire output. It is spellbinding stuff that would surely find a place in any decent Vivaldi anthology.

The music recorded here could find no greater advocate than Carmignola, who combines lyricism with power, at times pushing the limits of bowed strings to breaking point (witness his attacks in the final Allegro of RV281, always threatenting to produce those horrendous squeaks we associate with novice violinists). He is admirably supported by the Accademia Bizantina, who add entrancing layers of interest throughout, from plucked strings especially.

This CD boasts a world premier recording (RV283) and offers another concerto (RV187) in its 'original' version. I'm not sure that such a decision is doing this particular concerto any favours. As Fourès points out here and elsewhere, Vivaldi's first attempts can be more inspired and spontaneous than later revisions (which often merely simplify difficult passages for soloists of limited capabilities). Carmignola, of course, doesn't have technical limitations. Even so, it's difficult to see the advantage of presenting RV187 in its unrevised and extended form. The beauty of its slow movement doesn't detract from the fact that the outer movements are weakened by over-long parallel passages of the kind that Vivaldi resorted to when composing in frenzied haste. Sometimes, Vivaldi's second thoughts are genuine artistic improvements. Reservations aside, however, there are treasures aplenty on this offering, including all of the middle movements, which show both Vivaldi and Carmignola at their sublime best. (And a final word on 'parallel passages' - Michael Talbot's term, I think. This is the first time that it's occurred to me that rather than suggesting Vivaldi's flagging inspiration, these repeated phrases, starting at different points of the scale, might occasionally be early essays in minimalism, given their relentless and insistent evocation of mood. With RV254 and RV243, at least, they actually become a compelling and attractive feature in themselves.)

For my money, Carmignola's astonishing and revelatory 2001 recording of Vivaldi's 'Late Violin Concertos' represents the absolute summit of Baroque music recording. This current disc is not far behind. Together with Naive's recent release of Vivaldi violin concertos with Dmitri Sinkovsky, we are very close to the summits once more.
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on 23 April 2013
Perhaps it's the particular selection of concertos on this disc, perhaps it's the pairing up of Carmignola with Ottavio Dantone and his excellent ensemble, Accademia Bizantina, but I find this to be the most exciting of the three Vivaldi discs Carmignola has thus far released for Archiv. As much as I have enjoyed Carmignola's previous 2 pairings with the Venice Baroque Orchestra under Andrea Marcon, I find the Accademia Bizantina to be a more vigorous and exciting group. The RV 281 concerto, which dramatically opens the disc, appeared before in another exciting rendition by Fabio Biondi in the early days of the Opus 111 label (with the ever thoughtful Alessandrini at the harpsichord) and, as then, here too it is a marvellous programme opener, in my opinion worth the price of the disc alone. Production standards are very much in keeping with the previous Archiv discs mentioned above. The sound is vivid and beautifully transparent. There is no run-through feel here. With playing as abundant in lyricism as we get here it's hard not to enjoy. 5 Stars without hesitation.
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This very well recorded disc from 2012 presents another five violin concertos to add to Carmignola's growing list of recorded Vivaldi concertos. In this case there are two concertos which are presented in their original form, one that is a premier recording plus two others. All of the concertos come from Vivaldi's last stage as a composer when he was further extending his range of expression and the means with which to achieve those.

Vivaldi was, like other composers of his time and as witnessed in the works of Bach and Handel for example, quite open to the idea of adapting previous compositions in order to fit with new performing circumstances or to create extra income. The first two concertos are thus important in so far as they go back to the original manuscripts and otherwise familiar concertos may therefore seem slightly less familiar according to whichever version is known to the listener.

The premier recording applies to the third concerto on the disc, RV 283. Carmignola's point here, made in his booklet article, is that the pyrotechnics of the outer movements of this work, as with others, makes the imaginative quality of the slow movements even more notable.

The final two concertos conclude with RV 243 known as the concerto without the 'e' string. This does not mean that high notes are avoided but that they are achieved with high positions on the lower strings thus creating a totally different tonal effect.

All of these concertos have plenty of interest to occupy the listener and the accompanying booklet supplies much information not included here. The playing of Carmignola and his colleagues is beyond criticism as to be expected and one can only suggest that, once again, here is another example of the players' and the composer's art combined which makes the disc another most attractive purchase prospect.
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This is first-rate Vivaldi playing, I think. Among the massive slew of recordings of Vivaldi concertos a few stand out as having a fresh, informed and genuinely sincere approach and this is one of them. There is a rawness and pulsating attack almost throughout the disc which gives it a real edge and meaning which is a world away from the Vivaldi-as-muzack stuff which has led many to dismiss him as a lightweight composer of Baroque Easy Listening.

Playing on gut strings, the orchestra under Ottavio Dantone really attacks these pieces and even in some of the largo movements there is drive and often drama which lifts it well above the ordinary. Carmignola is brilliant as soloist here, fully equal to the gutsy passages but also genuinely tender and affecting where appropriate.

I'm generally rather suspicious of covers featuring "I'm a cool dude" pictures of the artists, but there is no need for dubiety here. I think this is a genuinely outstanding performance and one which has become a favourite in my rather overcrowded collection of Vivaldi concerti. It's a worthy companion to Carmignola's excellent Vivaldi double violin concerto disc with Viktoria Mullova Vivaldi: Concertos for two Violins and to his very fine Haydn, too Haydn: Violin Concertos. Very warmly recommended.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 14 March 2013
"Vivaldi Con Moto" is the latest Archiv Produktion recording from virtuoso violinist Giuliano Carmignola, the violin master of Baroque music and the perfectionist music of Antonio Vivaldi in particular. He is recorded playing inspired, beautiful versions of Vivaldi concertos which Carmignola ostensibly 'listens to' while driving his motorcycle across Italy. With excellent support from Accademia Bizantina under the baton of maestro Ottavio Dantone, Giuliano presents the glorious world premier of Concerto in F major, RV 283, and original manuscript interpretations of the Concerto in E minor RV 281 and the Concerto in C major RV 187 which shares musical commonality with the opera Griselda. In addition there are marvelous performances of Concerto in D major RV 232, Concerto in E flat major RV 254, and Concerto in D minor RV 243, composed 'sans' the E string (Some versions of this recording also have the Largo movement from Concerto in A major RV 350.) The Vivaldi treasure troves 'unearthed' from sources such as European monastery basements and ancient library boxes continue to yield fresh dazzling music for musicians such as Giuliano Carmignola and Accademia Bizantina by way of the composing genius of the Red Priest for the benefit of the music world. These are great performances from stem to stern. My Highest Recommendation. 5 MASTERFUL Stars! (18 tracks, ~70 minutes. Mr Carmignola plays a 1739 Florenus Guidantus violin.)
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on 25 November 2013
I had very high expectation on this recording after Carmignolas recordings with the Venice Baroque Orchestra. The early Sony recordings (with one of the very best recordings of the maybe otherwise too often recorded four seasons, and the CD with "late Vivaldi concertos". Those two, together with the first Archiv recording are superb "5+"-CD:s, and unfortunately is this "con moto", despite the witty title/front picture with the soloist apparently riding a "moto"-bike not matching the intensity and freshness of those previous renditions. If it is Vivaldis fault or the musicians? Well, I would say both. The text indicates that some of those concerts are less-often heard concertos - I would not say that it is an obvious reason for this, but together with this - in comparison with his above mentioned recordings - it is somehow a disappointment to me. Now, this does NOT mean they are not worth listening to, and maybe even add them to your record collection., and if you have not heard his earlier recordings, it is still very high standard of playing from the musicians. I would though urge those who have not heard his recordings with the Veicians, go ahead and buy them! If you like this, you will absolutely not be disappointed with them!
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on 16 November 2014
As expected.
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