- Giustino, opera in 3 acts, RV 717: Vedrò con mio diletto
From the start of her career, violinist Nicola Benedetti has shown strong interest in playing a variety of works, from big Romantic blockbusters, such as concertos by Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky and Max Bruch, to compositions by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Karol Szymanowski, John Tavener, and James MacMillan. Judging from these choices, one might expect her to stick with the 19th and 20th century repertoire, yet for Italia, her 2011 Decca release, she has made a surprising leap back in time to the Baroque era of Antonio Vivaldi, Giuseppe Tartini, and Francesco Veracini. Accompanied by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Christian Curnyn, Benedetti plays with brilliant virtuosity, absolute clarity, and a gentle, dolce tone that makes her performances especially personal and attractive. The minimal vibrato in Benedetti's playing gives it an authentic sheen, which is complemented by the ensemble's period sound in the concertos, as well as by the scintillating continuo part in the sonatas. Two of Vivaldi's vocal works in violin arrangements are included, "Vedrò con mio diletto" from "Il Giustino," and the solo motet, "Nulla in mundo pax sincera," both of which Benedetti offers with affecting sincerity and charm. Add to the exceptionally stylish playing the resonant performance space, and Decca's flawless reproduction, which captures the performances with full luster, and this album will be regarded as one of Benedetti's most appealing and popular.