Complete Cello Concertos
Vivaldi wrote an astonishing 500 concertos during his lifetime, of which 27 were composed for solo cello. At the time, the instrument was in it's infancy, and it was unusual for great composers to write works specifically for solo cello. Indeed, none of the concertos were published during Vivaldi's lifetime: they had been written specially for his young female students at the Ospedale della Pietà, where the composer was employed in Venice, and were therefore not widely known. However, Vivaldi clearly saw the potential in the new instrument, otherwise he would not have gone on to write so much material for it; after the violin and bassoon, it is his third most popular solo concerto instrument. The sheer number of concertos allows the full emotional range of the cello to be explored, though Vivaldi stays relatively low in it's register, fully exploiting the instrument's rich and sonorous bass. Contrary to popular beliefs that Vivaldi is repetitive, the concertos are packed with Baroque innovations; virtuosic passages feature lively arpeggios, rapid semiquavers and much rhythmic diversity. This period also saw a heightened use of syncopation, and a real emphasis on melody rather than the monodic music that had preceded it: we see this through Vivaldi's employment of arpeggio, progression, augmentation and ornamental variation. Vivaldi wrote cello concertos from the beginning right to the end of his long career, allowing the listener to form a good understanding of the full evolution of the composer's style. Although rarely performed nowadays, these works deserve to be part of any cellist's repertoire. First released as part of Brilliant Classics' authoritative Vivaldi Edition (BC94840), this 4 CD set features renowned concertmaster Federico Guglielmo together with his specialist early music ensemble L'Arte dell'Arco, playing on period instruments.