Vivaldi Edition vol. 67
Boris Begelman, Concerto Italiano, Rinaldo Alessandrini
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If ever proof were needed that Vivaldi did not write the same concerto 600 times, Boris Begelman have provided it. His performances of the six incredibly demanding works on this disc (which, in stark contrast to the previous issue in the series, do not beef up the Vivaldi sound!) are often astonishing. Just listen to the cadenza to Track 10 and you will see what I mean. And the way Vivaldi liberates the cello in the opening tutti of the following track is the perfect demonstration the he was no “one trick pony”. Quite apart from the ridiculous virtuosity (which Begelmann pulls off with seeming ease), the concertos all have their own qualities; the final E minor concerto, for example, starts uncertainly with the movement in the bass line, while the middle movement is wistful and dreamy, and the concluding triple-time Allegro sets off as if it’s on a mission. With 33111 strings (including Begelman) and archlute/harpsichord continuo, Concerto Italiano is about as perfect a group as one could hope for in this repertoire.