- Sonata for 2 violins, viola & continuo A minor (incomplete), RV Anh. 107a
- Trio Sonata for violin, cello & continuo in G major, RV 820
For Vivaldi and other Baroque composers, it has often been difficult to assign works accurately to chronological periods, but this has become easier in Vivaldi's case as works are discovered and manuscripts analyzed. The Italian historical-performance group Modo Antiquo under Federico Maria Sardelli therefore deserves kudos for this collection of works by the young Vivaldi, especially inasmuch as one of the works here, the "Sonata in G major for violin, cello, and continuo, RV 820," has been authenticated and dated by the conductor. That work was copied out shortly after 1700 and thus seems to have been a product of Vivaldi's early twenties and to have been his earliest surviving chamber work. The notes by Michael Talbot correctly suggest that the seven-section work ("movement" is not quite the right word) looks back to models from Corelli and composers before that, but it is spilling beyond those boundaries. In general these works share an experimental quality that certainly came to fruition in "The Four Seasons," and it's fascinating to hear the well-known "Concerto in A minor for two violins and orchestra, RV 522a," in this context. However, it is disappointing to hear that concerto and the opening "Concerto in D minor, RV 813" played in wan one-instrument-per-part readings; most of these works date from Vivaldi's period of employment at the Ospedale della Pietà dormitory for out-of-wedlock children, whose orchestra is reported to have had dozens of members. This doesn't matter, however, in the chamber pieces, which are crisply and attractively done with an organ continuo that breaks out into Brandenburg No. 5-like solos. The blistering "Recorder Sonata in F major, RV 52," is worth the price of admission in itself. A "late Vivaldi" album, from these forces or others, would also be something worth hearing. This beginning with the chronological concept is recommended.