This version of Vivaldi’s perennially popular set of four violin concertos features Takako Nishizaki as soloist, accompanied by Cappella Istropolitana, led by Stephen Gunzenhauser. Nishizaki and Gunzenhauser deliver straightforward, impressively virtuosic performances of the concertos. The interpretation and playing tend to be on the traditional side, which may be just what some listeners are looking for, but the performance may seem tame to listeners looking for a version that emphasizes the wild vitality and unpredictable juxtapositions of the music that reflect Vivaldi’s reputation as a particularly fiery performer. As a bonus, the album includes the composer’s less familiar and very brief Concerto alla rustica.
"The super-bargain Naxos version is given first-class sound, warm, fresh and well balanced. Takako Nishizaki plays beautifully, displaying an appropriate degree of bravura, and the accompaniment under Stephen Gunzenhauser is modest in scale and pleasingly finished."
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