Vivaldi: Concerti e Sinfonie per archi e continuo

Tactus TC 672259

The thirteen works on this recording are organised by key; after four pieces in C (two each in major and minor modes), there are two in D (one each), one in F, five in G (one and four respectively!) and one in B minor. The strings of this small period instrument group (22111) play stylishly, with bouncing basses (perhaps a little too much violone?), and I have to confess that I was only not entirely happy with the slow movements, where the harpsichord has too much time on her hands and starts adding distractive countermelodies (try Track 2, for example); this may, in fact, be how they were performed, but I’ve always imagined that Vivaldi the supremo violinist would be filling in any gaps, not the continuo player… That reservation aside, this is a fine survey of this part of the composer’s output, and the contrapuntal movements are especially worthy of exploration (try Track 7 for a taster).

Brian Clark