What do you do in your spare time if you’re the world’s best selling female cellist? Go poking around in a Bavarian castle for undiscovered repertoire, of course. The third instalment of Sol Gabetta’s Vivaldi project blows dust off Italian concertos from the library of the cello-playing Count Shönborn, alongside four popular gems from the Red Priest himself.
From the moment she enters as soloist in the opening Vivaldi concerto in A Minor, RV422, it’s clear the chops justify the sales. She draws out the melodic line like spun gold, with detailed trills, flowing phrases and buoyant, textured passage-work rather than just busywork. In the Allegro of Zani’s concerto she imaginatively bends the tuning to her will.
The brother/sister duo with violinist and concertmaster Andres Gabetta offers a refreshing take on Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Mandolins in their own arrangement for violin and cello; the tone colour of each instrument is distinguished from the other, piquant and punchy, particularly when they echo one another in close repeated phrases.
The Chelleri G Major concerto, with its memorable first-movement ritornello, has a blend of stately bearing and rollicking energy as played by the 16-strong ensemble. But despite the immediate charm of the other works by Platti and Zani, the disc has too few peaks to shake the listener out of mere complacent enjoyment.