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Vivaldi with Avi Avital - Music Box, 4th May

Monday, 4 May 2015 , ora 10.23

If you would like to vote for this cd please vote HERE

Vivaldi performed by an incredible musician - no, he is not a violinist. Avi Avital plays the mandolin. The album was released by Deutsche Grammophon Records on 23rd March, 2015, and it is included in the Vote the Best Classical Album of 2015 campaign.

Homage paid to Vivaldi, homage paid to Venice

I can see why Avi Avital chose Vivaldi for his latest album; I think Avi Avital is one of the most important performers today worldwide. Vivaldi is one of the few composers who created pieces for the mandolin, namely the splendid Concerto in C Major for mandolin and orchestra, RV 425 performed by Avi Avital together with the Venice Baroque Orchestra.

This is more than a homage paid to Vivaldi, who is one of the few classical musicians who composed works exclusively for the mandolin, it is also a homage paid to Venice, the place where Vivaldi was born and performed most of his life. The album was recorded in Venice, together with an orchestra from Venice, whose members are Venetians and know the Venetian lifestyle extremely well.

Avi Avital succeeded in making the mandolin a classical music instrument - only because he plays the mandolin incredibly well. In his hands the mandolin sounds like a violin (Concerto in A Minor, RV 356) or like a flute (Concerto in C Major, RV 443 and The Four Seasons - Concerto in G Minor, RV 315, "The Summer") or like a lute (Concerto in D Major, RV 93) and could even sound like a human voice. Avi Avital is an extraordinarily talented musician, who loves his mandolin very much and for whom emotion and expression are the most important things.

Vivaldi`s Summer for the mandolin and the violin

I believe that the centrepiece of this album with Vivaldi`s works is the transcription of The Summer concerto from The Four Seasons. Avi Avital explained that he chose this concerto, because he thought it was the most meaningful out of the 4 concertos in The Four Seasons series, because of the variety of emotions it conveys and I also believe that this concerto highlights the genius of the composer. We have also heard other good performances of Vivaldi`s "The Summer": on the violin, the guitar, the mandolin, the harmonica and played by an orchestra.

The International Press`

... in appreciation of this album, which has the label of the Deutsche Grammophon Records: "The important thing is that Avital makes Vivaldi's compositions sound interesting again. After the recordings of Vivaldi, which all seem the same, it is so nice to listen to Avital`s mandolin." - writes a British reviewer and another emphasizes that "it is a highly satisfactory recording ."

Yes, I agree with them; in a world in which every possible way of performing Vivaldi seems to have been done, it is so refreshing to realize that the work of a genius has always something new to add; and the only way one can discover this new element is by the passion and dedication a musician has and by loving what he does. While watching the trailer of this album, namely Avi Avital`s transcendent face while he was playing, I could not help but see that his image says it all, it cannot be copied or mimed. I believe music is pure passion.

Avi Avital

... is an artist born in Israel in 1978, nominated at Grammy Awards for his extraordinary recordings. Avi Avital and an album that makes you see Vivaldi in a new light. The last piece of music on this album is the traditional Venetian La Biondina in Gondoleta in which the tenor Juan Diego Flόrez performs together with Avi Avital - so that the homage paid to Venice can be as original as possible, of course.

Avi Avital's latest album can be listened to on Monday, 4th May, at 19:00; repeats are scheduled on Sunday, 10th May, at 13:05; you can also listen to it at any hour on the website of our Vote the Best Classical Album of 2015 campaign.

Cristina Comandașu
Translated by Ana-Maria Florea and Elena Daniela Radu
MTTLC, The University of Bucharest