These two discs contain Leclair's 12 sonatas for two unaccompanied violins en duo. He produced them in two sets of six, the earlier one, Op. 3, dating from 1730, the later one from 1747-9. Barely a handful have previously been recorded, so these new issues make an important addition to the baroque catalogue. Leclair more than any of his French contemporaries implemented the technical developments in violin playing which were taking place in Italy in the hands of the post-Corelli generation.
The Pavel Haas Quartet, one of the very finest chamber ensembles of the present time, earned for their first two CDs (Janáček, Pavel Haas) numerous prestigious accolades (Classic FM Gramophone Award, BBC Music Magazine Award, Cannes MIDEM Classical Award, etc.). With the Prokofiev pieces featured on this album the Quartet has for the first time entered the field of the Russian (or, if you will, international) repertoire.
Thirty-seven completed and two unfinished bassoon concertos, more than for any other instrument except the violin; Vivaldi must have had one terrific fagottista in that ospedale . Well, Sergio Azzolino is pretty good, too.
Michael Talbot’s sensible notes observe that the bassoon concertos seem to come from the latter part of Vivaldi’s career, though, as with much of Vivaldi’s work, exact dating is seldom possible. He attributes this to a void in Italy between the fading of the dulcian from the standard instrumental ensemble and the slow introduction there of the Franco-German bassoon.