Vivaldi: Concerti per una vita

Vivaldi: Concerti per una vita

This isn’t any old Vivaldi album. In Concerti per una vita (Concertos for a life), violinist Théotime Langlois de Swarte has taken a “biopic” approach to the Italian Baroque composer. Each of the featured works, many of them heard here in world-premiere recordings, tells a different story about Vivaldi: his character, his life, his passions. De Swarte performs with wonderful swagger, as do the players of Le Consort who journey with him every step of the way. Ingeniously, De Swarte and co begin with Legrenzi: the kind of music that Vivaldi would have heard as a young boy. From then, the program is almost entirely Vivaldi. A thrilling Sinfonia symbolizes the earthquake that shook Venice as Vivaldi was born, while a selection of rare concertos takes us into Vivaldi’s world, as a composer for the church, the orphanage where he taught and for which he wrote vast swathes of music, or for grand Venetian celebrations. De Swarte tailors his charismatic forces for each of these scenarios, bringing to his album a delightful variety. Even without the storytelling, this is a compelling and exciting foray into never-before-heard Vivaldi.

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