Vivaldi - La Serenissima - American Record Guide
Part of the attraction here is that most of the selections are recently recovered works—new additions to the Vivaldi corpus. Three violin sonatas and three cantatas are interspersed. The cantatas all come from a group of 12 composed for the court of Mantua, perhaps meant as a cycle, with typical Italian texts of Arcadian character. In three of them the lover addressed is one Elvira. Of the violin sonatas, two of them survive in a manuscript set preserved in Graz, Austria and have had to be restored by Chandler himself. A third (R 83) adds an obbligato cello part. The cantatas are particularly welcome. Vivaldi wrote over 40 cantatas for female voice with continuo. These are remarkably powerful examples, with high lyrical values and considerable dramatic power, which is brought out with remarkable force by the excellent soprano Lawson. This release should be considered seriously by Vivaldi collectors if only for these cantatas. The violin sonatas add evidence to Vivaldi’s innovative and and adventurous work with his own instrument. Chandler’s performances are exemplary, but perhaps a little less exciting than Lawson’s.