Antonio Vivaldi wrote over 30 concertos for the bassoon, giving Miho Fukui a lot to choose from. Five of them, plus the Sinfonia from “Il Giustino”, RV 217 make up this new release. Included is the concerto in B-flat major, “La Notte,” RV 501, an oft-recorded work.
Bassoonist Miho Fukui plays with a rich, full-bodied sound. The Ensemble F, using period instruments, seem somewhat loose-limbed, especially in the ritornellos. But that’s part of what makes these performances attractive.
There’s a fire and energy in these works that more than compensate for a lack of machine-like precision. And in the end, that’s what it should be about. Both Miho and Ensemble F invest this music with a lot of expression, almost exaggerating the shape of the phrases.
Personally, I enjoyed these pieces more than I generally do Vivaldi’s instrumental music. (Not that I hate it, I just usually have a neutral reaction.) The SACD recording brings you close into the ensemble, making this an intimate-sounding release,that in my opinion, adds to its appeal.
Antonio Vivaldi: Concertos for bassoon
Miho Fukui, bassoon; Ensemble F
Ars 38 165 SACD