VIVALDI Bassoon Concertos

Grazzi’s pick of concertos that capture Vivaldi’s bassoon

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Antonio Vivaldi

Genre:

Orchestral

Label: Arcana

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: A365

A365. VIVALDI Bassoon Concertos. Alberto Grazzi

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Concerto for Bassoon and Strings Ensemble Zefiro
Alberto Grazzi
Antonio Vivaldi Composer
Concerto for Bassoon and Strings Ensemble Zefiro
Antonio Vivaldi Composer
Alberto Grazzi
Concerto for Bassoon and Strings Ensemble Zefiro
Alberto Grazzi
Antonio Vivaldi Composer
Concerto for Bassoon and Strings Antonio Vivaldi Composer
Alberto Grazzi
Ensemble Zefiro
Concerto for Bassoon and Strings Ensemble Zefiro
Antonio Vivaldi Composer
Alberto Grazzi
Concerto for Bassoon and Strings Alberto Grazzi
Ensemble Zefiro
Antonio Vivaldi Composer
Concerto for Bassoon and Strings Alberto Grazzi
Antonio Vivaldi Composer
Ensemble Zefiro
Since its foundation in 1989, Ensemble Zefiro (named after the god of the Western Wind) has notched up a distinguished discography of 18th-century music featuring woodwinds, and now embarks on a new relationship with Outhere’s label Arcana. Alberto Grazzi performs seven of Vivaldi’s 39 bassoon concertos with a small band of single instruments, who play with exemplary ease and dynamic flexibility.

It is inevitable that four concertos overlap with the three volumes by Sergio Azzolini and L’Aura Soave Cremona issued so far in Naïve’s Vivaldi Edition (9/10, 3/12, 4/13). Azzolini’s series in progress has rightly won many plaudits but there is much to be said for Zefiro’s cherry-picking a pleasing mixture of the best samples, presented with wise sensitivity for alternating between major and minor keys. Moreover, the playing is customarily marvellous: the performances of bright openings of major-key concertos (eg the Allegro non molto in RV472) zip along with buoyant wit; there is masterly judgement of earnest contrapuntal writing in minor-key concertos (eg RV480); and the largos of RV500 and RV474 convey an enchanting stillness.

Grazzi’s dazzling virtuosity in the most fiendish rapid and wide-leaping passages and lyrical tenderness in slow movements catches the elusive paradox of refinement and humour, and his playing is no less impressive than the conversational quality of violinists Nicholas Robinson and Cecilia Bernardini, and the crisp intricate continuo keyboard realisations of Luca Guglielmi. These performances amply support Michael Talbot’s praise that these works ‘are a veritable lexicon of galant rhythmic inventiveness and sophistication of phrasing and articulation’.

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