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Sharing Sound Theories on Filmmaking

*** VIVALDI "Concerti della natura" (Nature Concertos); Giuliano Carmignola, violin; Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca; Erato

** 1/2 VIVALDI "Concerti con titoli" (Concertos With Titles); Fabio Biondi, violin; Europa Galante; Virgin Veritas

August 06, 2000|RICHARD S. GINELL

Both discs from these Italian period-performance bands contain seven of Vivaldi's descriptive concertos, some of which overlap--or do they? For instance, each disc includes a "La Notte" Concerto with different catalog numbers, in different keys, yet they are indeed the same piece, albeit one with a recorder lead and the other for strings and harpsichord only. However, another title, "La tempesta di mare," is given to very different concertos on each disc, in content as well as instrumentation. So much for claims of one single path to authenticity.

Sonatori concentrates on concertos of nature, hence the above soundscapes and graphic depictions of outdoor creatures like a nightingale and a goldfinch. The Europa disc takes in a wider range of subject matter, including the "Concerto Funebre" and the well-known, if title-less, double-cello concerto. Both groups manage to avoid the trap of rigid scholarship at the expense of musical communication. If anything, the smaller Sonatori has greater fizzing energy and a keener edge than Europa Galante, which sports a weighty sound regardless of its varying instrumental configurations. Overall, I would opt for Sonatori, though both discs are best savored in small doses.

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