"Considering the small number of solo concertos for the bassoon from the baroque period the number of Vivaldi's compositions for this instrument is remarkable. With 39 concertos for one bassoon this part of his oeuvre is the second largest of his instrumental output, after the concertos for violin. That is all the more notable as there is no conclusive evidence that this instrument was played at the Ospedale della Pietà. Vivaldi wrote the largest part of his instrumental works for the girls of this institution…"
When the music of Vivaldi was rediscovered, about fifty years ago, only his instrumental music was performed. It took some time to discover that the master of the Italian concerto had also composed religious music worth performing and recording. Since then some of his religious compositions have reached considerable popularity. Among Vivaldi's religious output there are quite a number of works for the Vesper liturgy. 'Dixit Dominus', a setting of Psalm 110 (109), is one of them. So far two settings of this text by Vivaldi are known, RV 594 and 595. The RV number of the setting recorded here seems to show that it is a late discovery and was only recently added to the catalogue although the booklet doesn't quite make clear whether this piece was known before or was only discovered recently. It is clear, though, that it wasn't immediately recognized as a composition by Vivaldi, as in the manuscript it was attributed to Baldassare Galuppi. In the 1750s or 1760s the Roman-Catholic court in Dresden was looking for new religious music from Italy. Scores were ordered from the best-known copying shop in Venice, which was owned by a priest, Don Giuseppe Baldan. He sent some pieces by Vivaldi, but attributed them to Baldassare Galuppi, by then the most famous composer in Venice, and generally known by his nickname, 'Buranello'. This 'Dixit Dominus' was only identified as a work by Vivaldi in 2005 by the Australian scholar Janice Stockigt. It is one of four compositions by Vivaldi from the Sächsische Staatsbibliothek in Dresden which are falsely attributed to Galuppi.
…Gli incogniti and Amandine Beyer bring a fresh approach to Vivaldi's masterpiece. But what impressed me most were the two world-premiere recordings on the album, in particular the concerto for two violins which surprisingly has never been recorded before.
The revival of the viola d'amore as an instrument distinct and separate from the viola is a well-established phenomenon, advanced by composers and performers alike at least since the 1920s. That doesn't mean, however, that there are a great many players of the viola d'amore around, nor are there nearly as many viola d'amores in existence to play, at least in a quantity relative to the number of violas that are out there.
Violinist James Ehnes has firmly established himself as a master of the modern repertoire and to a lesser extent, the Romantic, so his album of Antonio Vivaldi's perennial violin concertos, The Four Seasons, Giuseppe Tartini's "Devil's Trill" Sonata, and Jean-Marie Leclair's "Tambourin" Sonata is an unexpected detour into the Baroque. The fame and popularity of these pieces guarantees Ehnes an audience, and he, like everyone else, shouldn't be criticized for recording them, though his choice of the modern Sydney Symphony Orchestra for the Vivaldi, and Fritz Kreisler's arrangement of the Tartini for violin and piano, suggests that he isn't really trying to compete with most contemporary recordings, least of all the various period-style releases.