The heart of this collection lies in the three concertos featuring solo mandolin (RV 532 actually requires two), which number among Vivaldi’s most piquantly appealing inspirat ions. RV 576, scored for solo violin, two recorders, three oboes, and solo bassoon, also represents the composer at his most inventive and expansive, and the quality of the wind playing here is second to none in the period instrument world. In short, you will find in these performances more than sufficient evidence to refute the notion that Vivaldi wrote the same concerto 600 times. Or at all events, he only did it 593 times: these seven works remain outstanding for their character and individuality, and you won’t find them better played or more immaculately recorded anywhere.

David Hurwitz in CLASSICS TODAY: Artistic Quality: 10 / Sound Quality 10 ÔÇô about the CD Vivaldi: Concerti per molti strumenti with Europa Galante and Fabio Biondi (Virgin Classics)

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