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Avi Avital - Vivaldi / WCRB: CD of the Week

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Interview with WCRB's Brian McCreath

Each week WCRB: Boston presents a CD of the Week, which can be heard online and on-air at 99.5 WCRB.

The week's pick is Vivaldi from the GRAMMY-nominated Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital. Praised as a both an "enthralling and sensitive soloist" (Boston Globe) and a "convincing advocate for his instrument" (Wall Street Journal), Avital is the first mandolinist signed to Deutsche Grammophon and has brought the instrument to entirely new audiences, building a fresh legacy for the mandolin through virtuosic performance and a commitment to commissioning new works and arrangements in a range of genres.

His new release Vivaldi, his third album on DG that returns the instrument to its origins-the Venetian Baroque and master composer Antonio Vivaldi. On this release, Avital captures the mystical spirit of Venice, shedding new light on Vivaldi's musical genius by performing his own transcriptions of the composer's works, demonstrating the rock star status that he cultivated in his own time. He is joined on the album by the Venice Baroque Orchestra on this, the ensemble's twelfth recording on Deutsche Grammophon. Avital and the VBO are also about to embark on a major North American tour this spring, stopping in Southern California, Miami, Boston and Carnegie Hall as well as Calgary and Montreal (complete dates below).