Following the critical success of their set devoted to Vivaldi’s Op.6 set of concertos, not to mention earlier albums devoted to more arcane areas of the Red Priest’s output such as concertos for organ (BC94059), mandolin and lute (BC93810) and even an opera (Ottone in Villa, BC94105), L’Arte dell’Arco and Federico Guglielmo now explore the accompanied sonatas which the composer wrote on the occasion of the visit of the King of Denmark to La Serenissma late in 1708.
Thus this set is, despite its misleading early opus number, very much the work of the mature Vivaldi, now 40 years of age and a leading light of the vibrant Venetian musical scene, producing at an astonishing rate not only concertos for the adroit pupils of the Ospedale della Pietà where he was a much-loved music master, but also entertainments of varying scale for more public events and audiences. These sonatas are but for two or three performers, or even four: a moot point for musicologists. L’Arte dell’Arco follow modern scholarly practice in assigning the ‘accompaniment’ to the virtuoso solo instrument to a continuo group of cello, keyboard and plucked instruments, though they take care to offer instrumental colours as variegated as possible by alternating between harpsichord and chamber organ, and theorbo and Baroque guitar, as the character of the musintal craftsmanship, continually appears to demand or request it. The sonatas were written with publication in mind, not in Venice but Amsterdam, then the home of instrumental music publishing, and they take their place within his carefully constructed 12 opus collections as a sophisticated set of sonatas displaying all the different characters of the Italian Baroque school of instrumental craftsmanship, continually enlivened by Vivaldi’s unique brand of melodic genius.
- The complete set of 12 Violin Sonatas Op. 2 by Antonio Vivaldi.
- Vivaldi published this Opus in 1709 in Venice, and in 1712 again in Amsterdam with Roger, who was to become his main publisher.
- Vivaldi was a notable violin virtuoso himself, no wonder these sonatas demand a high technical level of the performer. Italian violinist Federico Guglielmo counts as one of the greatest Baroque violinists of today. Not only he effortlessly conquers all technical difficulties, but he fully understands the musical language of this music, the rhetoric, the articulations and the affects, in short he not only plays the right notes, but he lets the violin speak, as a medium for all human emotions.
- This set is part of the Vivaldi Series of L’Arte dell’Arco and Federico Guglielmo, presenting new recordings of the complete Op. 1 till Op. 10 by the Venetian Master.
- Booklet includes excellent notes on the music by Federico Guglielmo.
- “Truly excellent…One of those rare CDs where everything is in the right place” (Musicweb International on Ottone in Villa).