Vivaldi, Sammartini, Nardini, Brioschi, Fabio Biondi & The English Concert, Wigmore Hall, 25 May 2008


An unusual mixture of the vaguely familiar and less familiar Italian Baroque and its aftermath. The list of composers reads like an Italian restaurant menu or perhaps the lyrics of Mambo Italiano.

Fabio Biondi is a bit of a showman, I seem to recall, which is not necessarily the style that floats Janie’s boat, but it seems almost compulsory to perform Vivaldi that way these days. Although these particular Vivaldi concertos are not the best known ones, there’s always something fairly familiar about the Vivaldi concerto sound. No bad thing.

The second half of the concert was more subdued and in many ways more interesting, as I’m not sure I’d ever heard any Sammartini, Nardini or Brioschi before. Well worth a listen, but nothing so wow that I’m desperate for a recording or rushing back for more in the concert hall.

There’s no Wigmore Hall stub for this concert – those start from January 2012, but there is an Instant Encore entry, click here, so far I am the only person to confess to having attended this concert. Not even the Orchestra…

Joking apart, it was a very good concert, just one of those low key Sunday night at the Wigmore Hall affairs.


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