VIVALDI – Six Violin Concertos for Anna Maria – L’Arte dell’Arco – Federico Guglielmo, solo violin and direction – CPO

by | Jun 7, 2006 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

VIVALDI – Six Violin Concertos for Anna Maria – L’Arte dell’Arco – Federico Guglielmo, solo violin and direction – CPO 777 078-2 – Multichannel Hybrid SACD, 63 min. *****:

Anna Maria came from a particularly privileged family in Venice and was taught to play the violin from a very young age. Antonio Vivaldi was very taken with her abilities; records still exist that show that in 1712 he bought her a rather extravagantly priced instrument to help further her career. Numerous historical figures that traveled to Venice also commented on her prowess at the violin, with one in particular calling her Italy’s finest violinist. She was given the position of Maestra di Choro of Venice in 1737, and although it essentially ended her career as a soloist, she presided over a golden age in Venetian music that sadly fell into decline after her death in 1782. The six concertos here date from the mid-1720’s, and are all derived from a Vivaldi-autographed volume that bears an inscription to Anna Maria, although only one of the concertos is known to have been composed expressly for Anna Maria.

This is my first experience with a multichannel SACD from the German label CPO, and it is a superb disc indeed! The music just leaps from the speakers, and instantly immerses you in a truly realistic stage-perspective listening experience. The period instrument performances are excellent and idiomatic. While I’m still not totally enamoured with the authentic instrument performance school of thought, the performances here made for riveting listening, with substance and style in such abundance that the 62 minute playing time of this disc passed all too quickly. Very highly recommended, regardless of your orientation.

— Tom Gibbs 

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