Vivaldi – Concerti per violino VI “La boemia”
Fabio Biondi, violin & conductor
Bohemia & Vivaldi
The Vivaldi Edition is an ambitious project which aims at recording all the works written by the “red priest”. After the release of several other albums dedicated to violin concertos and other instrumental and vocal works (including many of Vivaldi’s operas), this time a recording is dedicated to “La Boemia”, bringing together the six Violin Concertos that Antonio Vivaldi wrote during his stay in Bohemia in 1730-31.
The dating of the six concertos (RV 282, 278, 380, 186, 288, 330) has been made possible by new researches and studies, which shows that Vivaldi wrote instrumental as well as vocal music in Bohemia, but that he has not been influenced by folk tunes very much. The definition “Bohemian” for Vivaldi’s Violin Concertos refers merely to the place where they have been written. In fact, the six Violin Concertos do not show significant differences in style from those Vivaldi wrote for Venice or for other cities.
“La Boemia”: the Recording
If you are already a fan of Vivaldi, then, “La Boemia” is a recording that you will appreciate for sure. It features an outstanding solo violinist and conductor as Fabio Biondi, and the ensemble Europa Galante – which means, some of the best performers of Baroque music. As one can expect, their rendition of Vivaldi’s Violin Concertos could not have been more refined and appealing.
Biondi is the ideal performer of Vivaldi’s music. His accomplished performance is remarkable both for his technical skill and communicativeness. While he is able to perform effortlessly extended virtuoso passages as the one in the Allegro from the Concerto RV380, he is commendable for his emotional honesty, which the playing of the Europa Galante reflects with its shading and colourings.
These concertos, in fact, are slightly more sombre and thoughtful than other works by the same composer. They are closer to Vivaldi’s Winter or Autumn than to Spring, as there is something considered and soft that constantly counterbalance the bright colours of the instruments. Listen for example to the Largo of the RV278, with its solemn and slow pace, which does not prevent the strings to resound with vibrancy and transport. In this as well as in the other pieces, the Europa Galante is remarkable for its lustrous tone. Lightness and luminosity are not at all weakened, but they are constant presences between the lines. “La Boemia” is a chiaroscuro and it is this contrast between light and shade that makes the concertos really fascinating.