VIVALDI Musica per mandolino e liuto

VIVALDI Musica per mandolino e liuto
Ensemble Kapsberger

The Vivaldi Concerto for mandolin and orchestra, RV 425, was an essential component of the 1970s classical LP collection — with the mandolin amped up so loud in order to compete with a large orchestral string section that it sounded like an electric guitar blazing through an arena rock concert. Things have improved a bit since then, but balance between soloists and ensemble has always been a problem with the works featured on this release. The problem has rarely been solved so nicely as it is here. The group of string players used, a fine pan-European set of historical-performance specialists, is not especially small, and lutenist/guitarist/mandolinist Rolf Lislevand is elegant and clean but not arresting on his own. The key is how the whole ensemble works together to bring out the solos, sensitively shaping lines while keeping dynamic levels low enough to set off the soloists — and, in trio-sonata works, defining the relationships among the soloists themselves. Especially attractive here are the two comparatively rare concertos and two trio sonatas that involve both lute and violin or viola d’amore (the final concerto, RV 93, is for two violins, lute, and continuo). Setting a sharp boundary between the realms of the plucked instruments and the bowed strings here is a real challenge. In a way, it’s harder for the mandolin or lute to stand up to a single violin than to a whole group of them. ButLislevand and his cohorts bring it off in very carefully controlled environments in which the lute or mandolin is a full participant in the dialogue, a graceful dancer to the singing violin. Superb sound engineering from a Swiss studio also counts as part of the success of the performance; the temptation to use the resonance of a church to amplify the plucked instruments has wisely been resisted. This is a good addition to any Vivaldi concerto library and a very pleasant set of pieces for anyone who likes the mandolin or lute.

  • Release Date : 2006

  • Label : Naïve