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Benedetto Marcello: Concerto in mi minore per violino obligato, violoncello, archi e basso continuo (concerti a cinque, op.I, Venezia, 1708) ricostruzione della parte di violino obbligato a cura di Rinaldo Alessandrini
Alessandro Marcello: Concerto in re minore per oboe, archi e basso continuo (concerti a cinque, Amsterdam, ca. 1716)
Johann Sebastian Bach: Concerto nach italiänischen Gusto BWV 971 (Clavier-Ubung II, Leipzig, 1735) Ricostruzione per violino obligato, archi e basso continuo di Rinaldo Alessandrini
Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto in re minore per due violini, violoncello, archi e basso continuo op. III (L'Estro armonico) n.11 RV 565; Concerto in sol minore per violino, archi e basso continuo op.IV (La Stravaganza) n.6 RV316a; Concerto in sol minore "La Notte" per traverso, archi e basso contniuo op.X n.2 RV 439

Concerto Italiano
Riccardo Minasi; Antonio de Secondi; Francesca Vicari; Mauro Lopes Ferreira (Violin)
Ettore Belli (Viola) Luca Peverini (Violoncello)
Andrea Mion (oboe) Laura Pontecorvo (Flauto Traverso)
Rinaldo Alessandrini (Conductor & Clavicembalo)

Recorded Sept 2000, Chiesa della SS. Trinità dei Pellegrini, Rome
Opus 111 OP30301 [63 mins]

In the early 18 C Antonio Vivaldi had his opus 3 (L'estro armonico, 1711) and 4 (La stravaganza, 1714) published in Amsterdam. J S Bach studied and transcribed some of the best, which bore fruit in his own compositions.

Here, Rinaldo Alessandrini and Concerto Italiano present the original versions of four concertos that attracted Bach's attention and, as centre piece, he has transcribed back the popular solo keyboard Italian Concerto into a putative original version which will be of particular interest. As Opus 111 puts it "the transcriber transcribed - with delightful results!" Hearing the Italian Concerto as a violin concerto, free from the decay of plucked or hammered strings, is entirely convincing and Alessandrini's version deserves wider currency.

The programme is well varied with a Marcello oboe concerto and Vivaldi's La Notte for the delicate baroque flute (so quiet an instrument that studio balancing really helps). What is remarkable is that Alessandrini fields four solo violinists of exemplary skill and authority; perhaps none of them as individual and characterful as Rachel Podger. Monica Huggett and Andrew Manze, and a few others of our outstanding British baroque violinists, but contributing to a whole that is fluent and satisfying. This enjoyable CD will assuredly be a deserving contender for some reviewers Record of the Year.

© Peter Grahame Woolf