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While there are four solo concertos on this disc – one apiece for flute (RV 429), oboe (RV 450), bassoon (RV 504) and cello (RV 417) – there are also three chamber concertos, for different combinations of single instruments, with basso continuo rather than orchestral accompaniment: one (RV 106) for flute, violin and bassoon; two (RV 99, RV 107) for flute, oboe, violin and bassoon. These chamber concertos are especially fascinating for their glimpses into Vivaldi’s sonic experiments, his unusual blends and contrasts of timbre, as in RV 106’s Largo, where the flute’s cantabile line is supported only by gruffly tooting bassoon and pizzicato violin. Similarly stark contrasts sometimes occur in the slow movements of the full concertos, where the soloist is allowed to rhapsodise to the dark murmurs of punctuating strings.

This is the debut CD from Barocksolisten München. Though newly formed in 2010, the group’s members are drawn from the ranks of long-standing early music orchestras, so there is no shortage of experience or expertise, as is evident in their charming and bravura interplay in RV 107’s tightly braided closing Allegro. They are not so persuasive in the solo concertos, where there is formidable competition from discs by, for example, bassoonist Sergio Azzolini and cellist Roel Dieltiens, both of whom allow the music a little more room in which to breathe.

Graham Lock Read the full review on Agora Classica


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Early Music Today, 2014 - ©Rhinegold Publishing