This is Vivaldi's second opera (at least that we know of), performed for the first time in 1714, the same year that his amazing set of 12 violin concertos called "La stravaganza" appeared. Already known as a knockout composer for violin, Vivaldi clearly had no intention of disappointing those who admired him for his string writing just because he was becoming a composer of operas–and anyone listening to Orlando finto pazzo will have to notice the virtuoso string playing in addition to the outrageous demands made on the singers. Argillano's first aria, sung with amazing speed and subtlety by mezzo Manuela Custer, ends with a violin cadenza that's so remarkable that the audience at the time must have been left (as we are) breathless.
"…Azzolini is one of the most brilliant players of the baroque bassoon these days. It is telling that the previous two volumes with bassoon concertos were also performed by him, whereas in the series of discs with violin concertos the solo parts are allocated to various violinists. However, it is not just his virtuosity which is impressive. In the slow movements he shows his capabilities in the realm of expression. The ensemble L'Aura Soave Cremona operates on the same wavelength. In previous volumes I found their playing sometimes a bit abrasive, even aggressive. That isn't the case here. The contrasts in Vivaldi's concertos are emphasized through the choice of tempi: in the slow movements the tempi are usually very slow, and are performed with great intensity…" ~musicweb-international
"Considering the small number of solo concertos for the bassoon from the baroque period the number of Vivaldi's compositions for this instrument is remarkable. With 39 concertos for one bassoon this part of his oeuvre is the second largest of his instrumental output, after the concertos for violin. That is all the more notable as there is no conclusive evidence that this instrument was played at the Ospedale della Pietà. Vivaldi wrote the largest part of his instrumental works for the girls of this institution…"
This is the 49th title in the Vivaldi Edition and the 5th volume, out of approximately 12, of the series dedicated to the violin concertos whose manuscripts are held in the National Library of Turin. All the concertos selected here are linked to German violinist Johann Georg Pisendel, member of the Dresden orchestra, who spent time in Venice in 1716-17, with the Electoral Prince of Saxony Friedrich August. Vivaldi and Pisendel became very close friends and the Red Priest composed several works for Pisendel.
This is the 51st title in the Vivaldi Edition and the 6th volume, out of approximately 12, of the series dedicated to the violin concertos whose manuscripts are held in the National Library of Turin. Following two successful volumes of concertos for solo violin and orchestra recorded separately in the Vivaldi Edition, virtuosos Riccardo Minasi and Dmitry Sinkovsky now join forces to record pyrotechnic concertos for two violins and orchestra.
This recording is part of the Naïve label's Vivaldi Edition, a complete recording, scheduled to run to 100 discs, of a trove of Vivaldi manuscripts unearthed at the library of the National University of Turin. The recordings have been divided up among various mostly young Italian Baroque interpreters, with a pleasing variety of approaches.
Naive’s Vivaldi Edition is proud to present the 15th opera, and the 50th release, in the acclaimed series. Conducted by one of the masters of baroque opera, Alan Curtis, and gathering an impressive, vocal cast from the top echelons of Baroque singing 'Catone in Utica' is one of the Venetian master’s great, late operas. Composed four years before his death and premiered at Verona in the spring of 1737, 'Catone' inaugurated Vivaldi's third and last opera season. The Red Priest's farewell to the Teatro dell’Accademia Filarmonica was to resemble the crowning piece of a fire-works display.