Avi Avital plays Vivaldi

02.20.15
Avi Avital
Sinfini Music

Some instruments are born to rockstar greatness (electric guitar, drums); others achieve it (piano, violin, trumpet); while others have it thrust upon them. The mandolin, for instance, wasn't born with street-cred. Yet the tousle-haired Israeli mandolin player Avi Avital seems determined to change that and show that it, too, can rock. I use the word advisedly, as DG's booklet features an energetic essay entitled 'RockingVivaldi'. The exuberance with which Avital attacks the opening movement of the A minor Violin Concerto (RV356) is infectious, complete with some deft 'echo' effects; the slow movement is as affecting as it is brief, and then it's back to pyrotechnics in the company of the ebullient Venice Baroque Orchestra. In the next piece, originally a lute concerto, the chirruping motif at the start is vividly rendered.
 

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