Stefan Plewniak, Orchestre de l'Opéra Royal
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Concerti für Streicher RV 114,119,121,127,133,136,150,154,157,159,160,164
The Paris National Library holds a carefully written manuscript of 12 of Vivaldi's so-called concerti ripieni (concertos without soloists). The provenance has long been puzzled over, but recent research suggests that they were written for Francois-Etienne, Duke of Lorraine (later Emperor Francis Stephen), and would thus be further evidence of Vivaldi's extremely good relations with France. The selection of the brilliant works is carefully thought through: constantly flashing
of French stylistic elements flash through as a reminiscence of the recipient.
This music shows Vivaldi at his orchestral best, with interesting and lively themes, good contrasts in the tempos, and a nice variation of textures. Of course, it does depend upon the performance, and the Opéra Royale period group does a fine job. Conductor Stefan Plewniak keeps the motion moving, even as he merges the softer and more poignant portions into the fabric of the composition.