CD review: Vivaldi Concerti Per Violino V ‘Per Pisandel’/ Sinkovsky/ Il Pomo D’Oro

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Russian virtuoso violinist Dmitry Sinkovsky returns to Sydney to reprise his dazzling concert series with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra in July/August.  To get a whiff of his style, we’re republishing the review of the album Concerti per violino V ‘Per Pisandel’  which features Sinkovsky as the soloist in a playlist that highlights the music of Vivaldi.

Of the approximately 350 concerti Antonio Vivaldi (1678 – 1741) wrote for one instrument and strings, the violin is the solo instrument in more than 200. Learning, interpreting and recording these could be a lifetime project. French recording house naïve has initiated exactly this task.

Concerti per violino V ‘Per Pisandel’ (OP 30538) is the 5th of an anticipated 12 volumes of violin concerti whose score are held by the National University Library in Turin. This recording features Baroque exponent Dmitry Sinkovsky as the soloist (presently touring Sydney and Melbourne with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra) and the tantalisingly titled ensemble Il Pomo d’Oro, a 14-strong instrumental ensemble, directed from the violin by Sinkovsky.

Recorded in 2012, at the Villa San Fermo in Lonigo, Italy, the Diapason d’Or  winning CD features 7 concerti written by Vivaldi three of which are dedicated to Johann Georg Pisandel, (RV 370, 242 and 328). Sinkovsky performs the concerto RV 242 in his Australian concerts.

Pisandel (1687-1755) was the leading German violinist of his day. He studied the violin under Torelli, and composition under Heinichen; he travelled to Leipzig, met J S Bach in Weimar, played the music of Albinoni and Graupner and held a position at the court of Dresden. His own students included Graun and Benda.

It is not surprising then that leading composers of the day, among them Vivaldi, Albinoni and Telemann, paid homage to him with dedicated works. It was a time when Italian style was the all the rage in Germany and the demand for Vivaldi’s music was strong. Pisandel visited Venice in 1716-17 and allegedly sought out Vivaldi, learnt under him, copied out several of his scores (a recognised teaching strategy of the day) and was given autographed scores by him.


It was, by all accounts, a dream collaboration. Vivaldi could give free rein to his creativity and virtuosic writing. In Pisandel he had found a violinist who could meet the challenges of his innovations.

We can only imagine how Pisandel played, but Sinkovsky surely carries the baton brilliantly, giving a dazzling and sympathetic account of Vivaldi’s oeuvre. All 7 concerti are of the traditional 3 movement Allegro-Largo/Grave-Allegro form. However, it is the way that Vivaldi treats the ritornello and his orchestration of thematic material that captivates. Sinkovsky and his ensemble take to this with relish.

The liner notes contain comprehensive historical notes, the provenance of the instruments played and details of the recording equipment used. Performing on period instruments with Sinkovsky himself on a 1675 Francesco Ruggeri violin, this recording is a delightful and informative opportunity to become immersed in some of Vivaldi’s most entertaining writing.

Shamistha de Soysa for SoundsLikeSydney©


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