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Italia by Nicola Benedetti


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Label: Decca (UMO)
Judging a record by its cover might suggest that Benedetti -- with a flirty look and a vintage Vespa -- might have her eye on a crossover audience, but a few minutes into the violinist's energetic, confident reading of Vivaldi's "Grosso Mogul" concerto and there's little doubt of Benedetti's artistic clout. The collection of Italian baroque violin is backed by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and is immaculately played -- even the compulsory inclusion of the Four Seasons sparkles with energy. But it's a pair of Vivaldi vocal works, arranged here for violin, that are a captivating, rare treat.