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GRAMOPHONE (06/2013)
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Reviewer: William Yeoman

Sinkovsky and his Ruggeri on the 52nd Vivaldi Edition disc

This 52nd volume in Naïve’s intended complete survey of the manuscripts of Vivaldi’s music held in Turin’s National University Library is also the fifth volume of his violin concertos. This time, prize-winning Moscow Conservatory graduate Dmitry Sinkovsky, who plays a 1680 Francesco Ruggeri, joins Il Pomo d’Oro, which ensemble so impressed in the last volume of violin concertos (9/12).


Vivaldi’s concertos are dramatic, if not operatic in character, despite the formal constraints of the ritornello form for which he was famous. Il Pomo d’Oro’s main line of business is opera. And Sinkovsky apparently possesses a fine countertenor voice. So yes, there is something of the operatic in the way these performances have been conceived. Sinkovsky always balances the brashness and tendency towards extremes often exhibited by Italian period ensembles with the subtlety and tenderness associated with the best singers. And the range of colours, dynamics and expressive fluctuations in tempi on offer wouldn’t be out of place painting words.


The programme features violin concertos by Vivaldi either written for the great Dresden violinist, conductor and composer Johann Georg Pisendel (1687-1755) or copied out by Pisendel for use in Dresden. In the opening concerto, RV177, one gets a good overview of the approach Sinkovsky and the ensemble take throughout – listen to the contrasts between the percussive down-beats of the double basses especially, and the delicate textures of the lute continuo in the opening Allegro ma poco, or between Sinkovsky’s own ferocious attack and subtle, mercurial passagework in the closing Allegro.

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