Amazing to think in these days of plenty, when Vivaldi's sun has surely never shone brighter, that there can still be examples of his 660 or so concertos which have yet to be heard on record, but this invaluable set contains one such work, the G minor concerto RV459, as well as all the other works which the Venetian composer originally wrote for an instrument for which he evidently conceived a great affection, well suited as it is to the virtuoso roulades and trills which distinguish his writing for his own instrument, the violin, as well as testing the soloist with great demands on breath control in the fast outer movements and lyrical intensity in the central slow ones. It is more than likely that Vivaldi’s earliest concertos for wind instruments were those he composed for the oboe. The documents at the Ospedale della Pietà, where Vivaldi was a long-serving teacher and maestro della musica, reveal a specific interest on his part for the instrument.
A note on the world premiere: the extant manuscript of RV459 contains only the first two movements, and reveals so many errors and omissions that the score itself is practically useless from a performance point of view. Nevertheless, the piece is unquestionably somewhat weak, and evidently spurious, to the extent that it has been included in a ‘complete works’ recording solely on account of the fact that it constitutes an added degree of documentation.
All the critical editions used for this new complete recording were made by Pier Luigi Fabretti, soloist on this new recording, on the basis of meticulous comparisons with period manuscripts, printed scores and parts.
- The first complete recording of the oboe concertos by Vivaldi on period instruments!
- Vivaldi’s oboe concertos are deservedly popular; the versatile, singing qualities of the instrument perfectly suit the cantilenas, brilliance and virtuosity of Vivaldi’s concertante style.
- The performances of soloist Pierluigi Fabretti (principal oboist of Les Arts Florissants) and L’Arte dell’Arco, led by Federico Guglielmo brim with energy, furioso in the allegros, dolce in the andantes.
- Several works receive their first recording on original instruments.
- Booklet notes by Pier Luigi Fabretti & Federico Guglielmo.