In the summer of 2011 France’s most eminent cultural institution, the Château de Versailles, joined naïve in celebrating Antonio Vivaldi with a month of concerts, fireworks and publications – the crowning glory of our first ten years of work in restituting the massive corpus of works by this little-known italian composer to the public. The Vivaldi edition, a recording venture conceived by the italian musicologist Alberto Basso (istituto per i Beni Musicali in Piemonte) and the independent label naïve, is one of the most ambitious recording projects of the twenty-first century. its principal objective is to record the massive collection of Vivaldi autograph manuscripts preserved in the Biblioteca nazionale Universitaria in Turin.
As in the successful volumes 1-3 this is a very exciting recording, featuring the bassoon as you never heard before! The 54th release in the Vivaldi Edition features a selection of the finest works for bassoon ever composed, regardless of the instrument, this is a complete view of Vivaldi’s universe, performed by a true genius of baroque music. With each CD Azzolini proves himself to be an artist of endless immagination and virtuosity. With each new recording he surpasses the one before.
"…Azzolini is one of the most brilliant players of the baroque bassoon these days. It is telling that the previous two volumes with bassoon concertos were also performed by him, whereas in the series of discs with violin concertos the solo parts are allocated to various violinists. However, it is not just his virtuosity which is impressive. In the slow movements he shows his capabilities in the realm of expression. The ensemble L'Aura Soave Cremona operates on the same wavelength. In previous volumes I found their playing sometimes a bit abrasive, even aggressive. That isn't the case here. The contrasts in Vivaldi's concertos are emphasized through the choice of tempi: in the slow movements the tempi are usually very slow, and are performed with great intensity…" ~musicweb-international
"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…"
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.
FANFARE: Alan Swanson