Even within Vivaldi’s vast treasure-store of concertos (555 and counting) there is very little music that features solo plucked instruments. Three of the works on this disc (two sonatas, and a D major concerto) were intended for the lute, while the fourth was for mandolin. When the revival of ‘early music’ in the first half of the 20th century brought with it a re-discovery of Vivaldi’s music, there simply were no lute players, and it became traditional for these works to be adapted for guitar. The concerto in C has latterly gained wide popularity, at least in its original guise as a mandolin concerto; playing it on the guitar requires minimal rearrangement and introduces it to a broader listenership. More intimate than the concertos, the two sonatas are slightly odd in that, rather than being a dialogue between two equal soloists as one might expect, the violin and the guitar actually play the melodies together for much of the time, with the former sometimes sustaining longer notes while the latter plays arpeggiated patterns. Massimo Scattolin was a pupil of the great Segovía; composers such as Astor Piazzolla and Violet Archer have written concertos for him. Here he is accompanied by a chamber ensemble based in Vivaldi’s own city of Venice.
Recorded in 1989
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