Vivaldi: The Complete Viola d'Amore Concertos

Vivaldi: The Complete Viola d'Amore Concertos

by Rachel Barton Pine

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Overview

Vivaldi: The Complete Viola d'Amore Concertos

The viola d'amore (viola of love) is not a variant of the standard viola, but an entirely different instrument with sympathetic strings as well as bowed ones. The sympathetic strings cause a gentle, almost subliminal buzz that gives the instrument a quiet, sweet sound that no doubt suggested its name. Examples are not common, and the instrument is not easy to play; for these reasons alone, this release by the Chicago Baroque violinist Rachel Barton Pine is to be celebrated. The eight viola d'amore concertos represent Vivaldi's total output for the instrument and were composed at different times. The late "Concerto in D minor, RV 540," is for the extremely unusual combination of lute and viola d'amore, and it's gorgeous. The "Concerto in F major, RV 97," is also unusual, calling for an all-winds orchestra (except for the continuo) with muted oboes and horns. Here too Vivaldi exploits the unusual sonorities. The rest of the concertos are in more common ritornello forms, with slow movements taking advantage of the viola d'amore's capacity for chords set off against outer movements full of brilliant figuration. Barton Pine is fine in the latter; in the slow movements you may wish for a bit more amore. The Chicago early music group Ars Antigua does not have the zip of its European counterparts, and the sound is pedestrian. But this is a worthwhile way into a difficult, unfamiliar repertory.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/11/2015
Label: Cedille
UPC: 0735131915922
catalogNumber: 159
Rank: 51969

Tracks

  1. Double Concerto, for viola d'amore & lute, strings & continuo in D minor, RV 540
  2. Viola d'Amore Concerto, for viola d'amore, strings & continuo in A minor, RV 397
  3. Viola d'Amore Concerto, for viola d'amore, strings & continuo in A major, RV 396
  4. Viola d'Amore Concerto, for viola d'amore, strings & continuo in D minor, RV 395
  5. Viola d'Amore Concerto, for viola d'amore, strings & continuo in D minor, RV 394
  6. Chamber Concerto, for viola d'amore, 2 horns, 2 oboes, bassoon & continuo in F major, RV 97
  7. Viola d'Amore Concerto, for viola d'amore, strings & continuo in D minor, RV 393
  8. Viola d'Amore Concerto, for viola d'amore, strings & continuo in D major, RV 392

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