In 1930 the Italian National University Library in Turin purchased the personal collection of autograph manuscripts by the great Venetian composer, Antonio Vivaldi. Without this fortuitous incident, we would have remained forever with only a very partial picture of a man who was arguably the most significant Italian composer of the eighteenth century.
The collection contains no less than 450 works by Vivaldi: hundreds of concertos for various instruments and much vocal music, both secular and sacred. With few exceptions, it is the only source we have of his sacred music and operas, and until recently a great part of this music had never been heard by today’s public.
The Vivaldi Edition recording project was conceived by the Italian musicologist Alberto Basso and launched in 2000 together with the Parisian record company “Naïve”. As it turned out, the manuscripts in Turin were Vivaldi’s private library of music scores which he kept at home. The aim of this project is to record the entire collection. To date more than sixty-four titles have been released, all performed by many of the most notable specialists in historical performance practice today.
Creating an aural rendering of this music has significantly increased our knowledge and appreciation of Antonio Vivaldi while further underlining his influence and decisive role in the history of Western music. Moreover, one must not underestimate the impact of more than 150 hours of first-class works being made accessible to the music-loving public.
In recording this music the Vivaldi Edition project is rescuing music that might easily have been lost forever.
Once recorded this exceptional music will remain with us for evermore.