VIVALDI, Complete Concertos and Sinfonias for Strings and Basso Continuo
L’Archicembalo perform on historical instruments in a line-up of three violins, viola, cello, violone and harpsichord, and a broad description of their sound would be that it’s as energetic, exuberant and rhythmic as you’d expect from Vivaldi performances, with a polish and attack that places it somewhere in the middle of the Vivaldi timbral punch-o-meter. They are also, as the presence of the violone perhaps hints, big on their bass; for some, such as myself, that’s great fun – get a load of the bass rumble below the dancing final Minuet of RV136 in F, for instance, or the more subtle thunder underneath the swirling violins of the final Allegro of RV150 in G (although rather less subtle in the few flourishes they do get!) – but others might prefer a bit less welly down there. As for the tempos, think brisk but not breakneck.
Moving on to details, take the courtly delicacy of the Andante of the B flat major Concerto, RV163, where the bass steps well back in honour of the trebles, and harpsichordist Daniela Demicheli provides subtly shaped legato momentum underneath the violins’ beautifully soft delivery of their lines’ huge large leaps. Or, with the final Allegro of the A major, RV159, the mutual chamber understanding with which the solo duetting violins weave their triple-time dance around each other. [..]
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