Italian early music ensemble Il Giardino Armonico performs one of the most famous mandolin pieces; Antonio Vivaldi’s Mandolin Concerto in C major, RV 425. Mandolin: Duilio Galfetti. A really good rendition, enjoy!
Antonio Vivaldi’s Mandolin Concerto in C Major, RV 425
The concerto was written by Antonio Vivaldi in 1725 and is often accompanied by the Italian composer’s most famous violin concertos, The Four Seasons (Le Quattro Stagioni, 1723), which are also among the most popular pieces in the classical/baroque music repertoire.
The music consists of the virtuosic treatment of the solo instrument, the mandolin, and the interplay between the soloist and the accompaniment of the orchestra. The demands are considered higher than other concerti by Vivaldi.
There are three movements. As in most classical/baroque concertos, they are fast-slow-fast in tempo.
- Allegro. The first movement is a rapid, cheerful tune. Throughout the piece, Vivaldi creates sharp and low contrasts between the mandolin and the rest of the orchestra, attracting much attention to several crescendos within the music.
- Largo. The second movement is in contrast to the rapid and enthusiastic tune of the first movement, and is slower and more thoughtful in its composition.
- Allegro. The third movement makes more use of the string orchestra, where the mandolin is not heard at the beginning or the end of the movement. The string section repeats the beginning portion as the ending of this movement.
Il Giardino Armonico
Il Giardino Armonico (“The Harmonious Garden”) is a pioneering Italian early music ensemble founded in Milan in 1985 by Luca Pianca and Giovanni Antonini, primarily to play 17th- and 18th-century music on period instruments. The ensemble’s repertory is mainly focused on the 17th and 18th centuries. Depending on the demands of each programme, the group will consist of anywhere from 3 to 35 musicians.
Il Giardino Armonico performs with soloists such as the mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli, duo pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque, cellist Christophe Coin, and soprano Danielle de Niese. Its recordings have met with honors including the Gramophone and Grammy Awards. Il Giardino Armonico performs both in concerts and in opera stage productions of works such as those by Monteverdi, Handel, Pergolesi, and Vivaldi.
Il Giardino Armonico is regularly invited to festivals all over the world, performing in the most important concert halls, and has received the highest acclaim both for their concerts and for their staged opera productions, like Monteverdi’s Orfeo, Handel’s Agrippina, Il Trionfo del Tempo del Disinganno and La Resurrezione, Vivaldi’s Ottone in Villa and, most recently, Handel’s opera Giulio Cesare, during last editions of Salzburg Whitsun and Summer Festival.
The ensemble can regularly be heard performing with such acclaimed soloists as Giuliano Carmignola, Christophe Coin, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Bernarda Fink, Viktoria Mullova, Giovanni Sollima, and Cecilia Bartoli.
Il Giardino Armonico is part of the project Haydn2032, for which the Haydn Stiftung Basel was created to support both the recording project of the complete Haydn Symphonies (label: Alpha Classics) and a series of concerts in various European cities with thematic programs focused on this repertoire.
In November 2014 the first album titled La Passione was released and won the Echo Klassik Award (2015). Il Filosofo, issued in 2015, has been awarded the “Choc of the Year” by Classica. The third album Solo e Pensoso was released in August 2016; the fourth Il Distratto in March 2017, won the Gramophone Award in the same year.
The eighth volume La Roxolana has been published in January 2020, and the ninth one L’Addio in Jan 2021, winning the “Choc of the Year” by Classica.
Now the series is enriched by another monument by the Austrian composer: Die Schöpfung (The Creation) was published in October 2020 with the Bavarian Radio Chorus.
In 2018 Il Giardino Armonico continued the collaboration with the young and gifted violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja with a new program of fertile tension between past and future, bringing together philological accuracy and contemporary music: the volume What’s next Vivaldi? has been published in October 2020 on Alpha Classics.
The most recent projects include the recording of La morte della Ragione (co-produced with National Forum of Music in Wroclaw, published by Alpha Classics and awarded with the Diapason d’Or in 2019, see notes 1), a program focused on the raise of Baroque sensibility through Europe and the search for a renewed listening experience of early music.
- The Diapason d’Or (French for “Golden Diapason”) is a recommendation of outstanding (mostly) classical music recordings given by reviewers of Diapason magazine in France.
- Mandolin Concerto (Vivaldi) on Wikipedia
- Il Giardino Armonico on Wikipedia
- Il Giardino Harmonico (The Harmonious Garden) official website
- Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3 [Yuja Wang] - October 3, 2023
- Pavarotti sings Di Quella Pira at the Madison Square Garden, New York  - October 1, 2023
- Mozart: Symphony No. 35 “Haffner” [Bernard Haitink, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra] - September 30, 2023