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Avi Avital in NYC for Greene Space show / WQXR: Album Of the Week

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Vivaldi will always be a violinist's favorite but mandolin players have plenty of reasons to be thankful for the Red Priest's efforts on behalf of their instrument. He wrote two concertos for the mandolin, both of which Avi Avital plays on his new recording with the Venice Baroque Orchestra, one of today's most respected period-instrument ensembles. Born in Israel, Avital himself lived in Italy for eight years and after making albums of folk-inspired music and J.S. Bach, he turns his attention to Italy's most famous Baroque figure. "Vivaldi" includes his own arrangements of two well-known Vivaldi violin concertos, the two mandolin concertos (with an organ in place of a harpsichord) and a breakneck performance of "Summer," from The Four Seasons. The recording ends with a treat – a lyrical traditional Venetian song, featuring tenor Juan Diego Florez.

Avi Avital will appear in The Greene Space with members of the Venice Baroque Orchestra on Thursday at 7 pm and the Vivaldi recording on Deutsche Grammophon is a WQXR: New York / Album Of the Week.

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