OUT NOW | Nicola Benedetti Newly Released "Baroque" CD
Released on Decca Classics, this is Benedetti’s first baroque album and invites listeners "inside the feeling of how the Italian spirit moves from person to person"
The album features a selection of concerti by Vivaldi plus Geminiani’s arrangement of Corelli’s ‘La Folia.’ Such repertoire was inspired by a special first meeting.
“The sound world of early eighteenth-century Italy first came into full three-dimensional focus for me when I met Italian conductor, harpsichordist, and founder of the Venice Baroque Orchestra, Andrea Marcon,” Benedetti told The Violin Channel. “Having listened obsessively to his recordings, I was both honored and humbled by the opportunity.”
Marcon had told her to just bring her violin and “see what happens.” Benedetti explained that he was someone who viewed music as a communicative form in its own right; that to talk about music was to perform it.
“To him [Marcon], the music of Vivaldi is talking,” said Benedetti. “It’s the best kind of conversation you can conjure up and provides the fastest way to get to know someone. Just play, and play, and play.”
No decision was made about repertoire. “Notes magically emerged from the harpsichord before he sat down,” she said.
While Marcon played, Benedetti could recognize snippets of Vivaldi, Corelli, Tartini, and Geminiani, but when he began the more familiar "Four Seasons" by Vivaldi, she told us that “I listened much harder than I played, trying desperately to soak up what was emanating from him. I was so moved and invigorated by his conviction and strength in expression. And so began our beautiful friendship.”
For this album, Benedetti chose to direct a new ensemble “without the comfort of someone else’s vision or name.” She explained that this was unfamiliar territory for her, but she was inspired by Marcon’s belief: “Dare to try, and if we are free and daring enough, our collective experience only deepens.”
“I really hope listeners take as much joy from this music as I did in preparing and recording it,” she added. “This music is so deeply invigorating, energy-giving, freeing, grounding and moving and as we hopefully emerge from this dark pandemic period, we want to bring hope and uplift and baroque music, especially Italian Baroque with all its song and dance, does this to the fullest.”
To purchase the album, click here.