Patricia Kopatchinskaja, or “PatKop”, is a Moldavian violin virtuoso, trained in Vienna and well versed in the contemporary repertoire. She’s known for her total commitment to her art and for her eccentricity – she willingly adopts a rough and fiery style of playing, unafraid to distance herself from the “beautiful sound”, and she likes to challenge conventions (she loves to play barefoot in concert, and will not hesitate to take the stage to perform the vocal part of Pierrot Lunaire). This fascinating and striking musician has teamed up this time with Il Giardino Armonico, an ensemble specialising in baroque music, to bring us a new recording of Vivaldi’s repertoire, putting the master’s music into context and shifting listening habits. The concept is quite simple: five concertos by Vivaldi separated by (very) short works written for the occasion by five contemporary Italian composers: Aureliano Cattaneo, Luca Francesconi, Simone Movio, Marco Stroppa and Giovanni Sollima.
Is it avant-garde? Not really, the emphasis being firmly on Vivaldi and not on contemporary composers (all white and male, by the way). But there’s certainly something refreshing in this amalgam of works of great quality, it must be said, united by the same sound and the same fervour of interpretation. Add to this concertos cadenzas that go far beyond the baroque style, and yes, the “recontextualization” works, embracing a certain modernity.