Why have you returned to Vivaldi almost 20 years after your very successful The Vivaldi Album?

The Vivaldi Album was my first baroque recording, and it was very exciting to discover that Vivaldi composed not only instrumental or sacred music but wonderful vocal works as well. Every single piece I recorded was a world premiere, and it was a huge success. Musicologists and musicians started to be interested in his music. But because it was my first time recording the baroque repertoire, I didn’t really have the ideal style for it. Now with 20 years’ experience, I have a much richer understanding of the style and my technique is much more solid. I also wanted to show a new dimension of Vivaldi – many of the pieces on that first album were much more virtuosic but I’ve always thought his other strength as a composer are his beautiful, long melodies and this melancholic side. So here we are: this CD is much more intimate, lyrical and very different from the first one.

Cecilia Bartoli. Photo © Kristian Schuller/Decca

So how does Vivaldi continue to challenge you?