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Vivaldi: Violin Concertos / Sasso, Ensemble Strumentale Di Roma


Release Date: 04/08/2008 
Label:  Stradivarius   Catalog #: 33778   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Giorgio Sasso
Conductor:  Giorgio Sasso
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Instrumental Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



VIVALDI Violin Concertos: in B?, RV 382; in c, RV 198; in C, RV 184; in e, RV 276; in D, RV 224a; in d, RV 247; in B?, RV 364a. Concerto in e for strings, RV 134 Read more class="ARIAL12"> Giorgio Sasso (vn, cond); Rome Instrumental Ens (period instruments) STRADIVARIUS 33778 (67:05)


The cover declares, “L’elite des concertos italiens” (The best Italian concertos). This is not Stradivarius’s boast, but the name given to a collection, published by Leclerc in Paris in the 1740s, in which RV 364a was included. In other words, if one wishes to split hairs, the title refers only to that concerto, not to the other works on this CD, even though they are not inferior to RV 364a.


Several premiere recordings are claimed here: RV 198, 224a, 364a, 247, and 276. The first three are alternative versions of RV 198a, 224, and 364, however, which might well have been recorded already. (Someone should create an online database of Vivaldi’s works arranged by RV number, and list all known recordings of each. Such a project probably would require only a few years of full-time research!) These three concertos differ from their alternative versions only because they have different slow movements. Actually, RV 364a barely has a slow movement at all. It really is a transitional passage, 42 seconds in length, between the two outer movements. This is the case for the 51-second Adagio in RV 247 as well.


As is often the case nowadays, Sasso varies the continuo instruments from concerto to concerto. He goes farther than that, however. He also varies them from movement to movement within the same concerto, and sometimes he varies them within the same movement. The continuo instruments are cello, double bass, harpsichord, and organ, and they are used in various combinations throughout. This might have seemed odd or unnecessary to Vivaldi, but I did not find it intrusive. The number of ripieno strings also is varied, to good effect.


Sasso plays a Klotz violin from 1751. Its tone is a little lean, but otherwise, Sasso clearly is master of the instrument. The ensemble’s playing is similarly accomplished, but it would be stretching things to refer to the sound that is produced here as sensuous, or even typically Italianate. This isn’t a complaint, though, merely an observation. More importantly, Sasso and the Insieme Strumentale di Roma approach tempos and interpretations sensibly. No one is trying to prove a point here. As a result, these readings are not literally spectacular, but they serve both the music and scholarship well. The solo/ripieno balance is excellent.


As for the music, pleasures are in store for the sensitive listener. I particularly enjoyed the violin’s melody floating over plucked strings in the Adagio of RV 198 and the intelligent playfulness of the fugue that opens RV 134.


The booklet contains a short note by Sasso, and a longer one by Olivier Fourés in which Tex Avery, of all people, is invoked. However, it has been translated into sometimes-questionable English.

FANFARE: Raymond Tuttle


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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Violin in B flat major, RV 382 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Giorgio Sasso (Violin)
Conductor:  Giorgio Sasso
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Instrumental Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
2.
Concerto for Violin in C minor, Op. 9 no 11/RV 198a by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Giorgio Sasso (Violin)
Conductor:  Giorgio Sasso
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Instrumental Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; Venice, Italy 
3.
Concerto for Violin in C major, RV 184 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Giorgio Sasso (Violin)
Conductor:  Giorgio Sasso
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Instrumental Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
4.
Concerto for Violin in E minor, RV 276 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Giorgio Sasso (Violin)
Conductor:  Giorgio Sasso
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Instrumental Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
5.
Concerto for Strings in E minor, RV 134 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Giorgio Sasso (Violin)
Conductor:  Giorgio Sasso
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Instrumental Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
6.
Concerto for Violin in D major, RV 224 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Giorgio Sasso (Violin)
Conductor:  Giorgio Sasso
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Instrumental Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
7.
Concerto for Violin in D minor, RV 247 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Giorgio Sasso (Violin)
Conductor:  Giorgio Sasso
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Instrumental Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
8.
Concerto for Violin in B flat major, RV 364 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Giorgio Sasso (Violin)
Conductor:  Giorgio Sasso
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Instrumental Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 

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