This six-CD box set brings together four major concerto sets composed including the most famous Il Cimento dell'Armonia e l'Invenzione awarded pride of place.
The eminently reliable Academy of Ancient Music play their period instruments with consummate zest under their charismatic conductor Christopher Hogwood and these sets date back to the early digital cum late analogue days when the fabled 'L'Oiseau-Lyre' label still produced those lavishly packaged boxes with their distinctive white covers and the wonderful paintings.
Albinoni might be described as a specialist in the medium of the Concerto a cinque, of which he composed 54, published at intervals during almost half his productive life. The first six appeared in his Op 2 (1700), together with six sonatas from which they inherited some structural features, and were followed in 1707 by the 12 of Op 5. They were 'halfway houses' on the road to the violin concerto per se as we know it – and as Vivaldi established it four years later.Virtuoso passages for a solo violin appear only en passant in flanking movements and 'symmetrically' in the Adagios of Nos 3, 6, 9 and 12. Each Concerto is in three-movement form and all the finales are fugal, as they are in the Op 2, though in their simplicity they sound rather like rondos.
The name of violinist and conductor Evaristo Felice Dall'Abaco does not necessarily spring to one's lips when significant figures of the late Baroque period are under consideration. To summarize, he was a contemporary of Antonio Vivaldi and the Veronese-born master of music attached to the court of Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria. As such, Dall'Abaco spent the first 11 years of his tenure in exile with the Elector in the Netherlands, and later, in France.
In 1705, Giuseppe Sala published in Venice the Suonote do camera a tre, due violini o violone o cembalo op.1 of Antonio Vivaldi. This set of trio sonatas marked the official 'debut' of a composer who was already more than a mere youth (the 'Prete Rosso' was then 27-years old), and probably contains the earliest works of his that have come down to us. It is very likely, though, as Michael Talbot has pointed out, that the copy of 1705 is in fact a reprint of a now lost first edition published in 1703.
Vivaldi’s famous Four Seasons sway listeners’ emotions by depicting how country-folk in 18th-century Italy react to the joy of Spring, the heat of Summer, Autumn wine and Winter storms. In north-western Finland, the ancient tradition of folk-fiddle playing in Kaustinen has nurtured a new generation of string players, leading to the formation of two world-class orchestras (modern and baroque) in the region.