Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Vivaldi's Tamerlano to be Released on Naïve's Vivaldi Edition

Article Pixel

Vivaldi’s Il Tamerlano (Il Bajazet) will be released on October 2nd.

Vivaldi's Tamerlano to be Released on Naïve's Vivaldi Edition

On October 2, Naïve Classiques will release Vivaldi's opera Il Tamerlano (Il Bajazet), the 65th release in the label's Vivaldi Edition. The series is devoted to newly rediscovered works of Vivaldi housed at the Biblioteca Nazionale in Turin.

Il Tamerlano marks the tenth recording led by Ottavio Dantone and the Accademia Bizantina in the Vivaldi Edition, with their most recent release cited by Early Music Review for "splendidly performed and vividly communicative performances." Baritone Bruno Taddia lends his "warm and secure voice" (Opera Today) to the title role, and is joined by countertenor Filippo Mineccia, mezzo-sopranos Sophie Rennert and Marina de Liso, soprano Arianna Vendittelli, and contralto Delphine Galou, whose previous Vivaldi Edition album, Musica sacra per alto was named among All Music's Best of 2019.

Vivaldi's contribution to the operatic repertoire was completely unknown until the rediscovery of more than 20 autograph manuscripts in the 1920s, with performances waiting decades to be revived. Il Tamerlano premiered at the Accademia Filarmonica of Verona in Carnival in 1735 and wasn't resurrected until 2005. Vivaldi chose to set a well-known libretto by Agostino Piovene (Handel also set his Tamerlano). The composer decided on the form of the pasticcio, enabling him to showcase his chosen ensemble of virtuosi by using arias from his own works (eight of them), and also bringing in arias from other composers, including three by Geminiano Giacomelli, three by Johann Adolf Hasse, two by Riccardo Broschi (brother of the famous soprano Farinelli) and one by Nicola Porpora (replaced). Bernardo Ticci's edition used in this recording also inserts five further arias that were sung at the 1735 performance but are absent from the score. All the recitatives are in Vivaldi's hand.

Accademia Bizantina will perform arias from Il Tamerlano with the cast of the recording on September 29, 2020 in Hamburg. HERE are details.

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Il Tamerlano (Il Bajazet) RV 703
Opera in tre atti

Accademia Bizantina
Ottavio Dantone CONDUCTOR

Bruno Taddia BARITONE Bajazet
Filippo Mineccia COUNTERTENOR Tamerlano
Delphine Galou CONTRALTO Asteria
Sophie Rennert MEZZO SOPRANO Irene
Marina de Liso MEZZO SOPRANO Andronico
Arianna Vendittelli SOPRANO Idaspe


Accademia Bizantina was founded in Ravenna in 1983 with the aim of 'making music like a large quartet'. Ever since then the ensemble has been managed by its members, who preserve this chamber musical philosophy in period-instrument performances of the music of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Over the years Accademia Bizantina has gained a prominent place in the preferences of public and critics alike by adopting a distinctive interpretative approach founded on careful reading of the score and stylistic accuracy, maintaining the noblest Italian chamber tradition. Ottavio Dantone became the group's harpsichordist in 1989, and was appointed conductor and artistic director in 1996. Under his expert guidance and in harmony with its leader Alessandro Tampieri, Accademia Bizantina continues its artistic journey through early music. As in a Byzantine mosaic, Dantone's skill, imagination and refinement merge with the enthusiastic complicity of the musicians to produce interpretations that have won it acclaim as one of the most prestigious ensembles on the international scene. Since 1999, when it gave its first staged opera (Sarti's Giulio Sabino), Accademia Bizantina has specialised in Baroque opera and oratorio, presenting both standard repertory works and titles never before performed in modern times. The ensemble appears in the leading concert halls and international festivals. Its many recordings have won a Grammy nomination and numerous prizes and awards.


Ottavio Dantone graduated in organ and harpsichord from the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Milan. From the start he had a keen interest in Baroque music and quickly caught the attention of public and critics alike with his performances. In 1985 he was awarded the basso continuo prize at the Paris International Competition, followed by third prize at the prestigious Bruges International Competition in 1986, the first Italian to have received this award, which immediately brought him international recognition. Since 1996 he has been artistic director and conductor of the Baroque orchestra Accademia Bizantina, with which he tours and records extensively. They often collaborate with internationally acclaimed soloists such as Andreas Scholl, Viktoria Mullova and Giuliano Carmignola. Over the last twenty years Ottavio Dantone has gradually extended his repertory as soloist and conductor to the Classical and Romantic periods. He works in some of the most celebrated festivals and opera houses in the world, among them La Scala in Milan, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Opéra Royal de Versailles, the Zurich Opera and the BBC Proms. He has recorded as both soloist and conductor with such noted record companies as Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, naïve and harmonia mundi, winning numerous international awards and receiving high critical acclaim.


In 1930, after it had repeatedly changed hands over several centuries, the Italian National Library in Turin purchased a large collection of music manuscripts in the hand of the great Venetian composer Antonio Vivaldi. It was, in fact, a collection of his personal music scores found in his home at the time of his death. Though the event was heralded worldwide as a major cultural discovery when purchased the archive was subsequently little exploited, in great part due to a lack of knowledge of historical performance practice. It was not until the 80s and 90s that specialized musicians began to perform some of this music.

At the end of the 90s, the collection came to the attention of Alberto Basso, a highly regarded Italian musicologist and founder and director of a regional institute whose objective was the cataloguing of music archives in the Piedmont region. Working with these 18th-century scores Alberto became keenly aware of its historical and cultural importance and the need to get this extraordinary music out to the public. He approached the Parisian record label Naïve with a proposal to record the entire collection - 450 pieces of music ranging from full-scale operas to much sacred music and hundreds of instrumental concertos, and later named Susan Orlando artistic director of the recording project. "When I asked him how he had come up with the idea of recording all this music," Susan Orlando told Opera, "he replied that the entire time he was working on the manuscripts he kept wondering how all this music could be transmitted to the public. It was quite brilliant on Basso's part, because when you think about it a manuscript is not really alive until it is performed, while concerts are ephemeral. But by doing recordings you're engraving this music. A fire could destroy all these manuscripts but once they're recorded they are here to stay." In September of 2014, production on the Vivaldi Edition came to a halt, but it resumed in 2016 after Naïve was purchased by the Believe Group, the largest distributors of digital music in Europe. The first release upon resuming the project was an opera in December 2017.

Artistic director Susan Orlando has divided the remaining repertoire into three releases a year until the project's completion at the end of 2027, with the following year marking the 350th anniversary of the birth of Antonio Vivaldi. So far, the Vivaldi Edition has sold over 850,000 CDs and engaged more than 250 artists.

Until this project began, Vivaldi had been minimalized, music history books generally mentioning the Four Seasons and little else. However, the quality of the music alone has illuminated Vivaldi as one of the leading figures in the history of Occidental music. Vivaldi was enormously famous throughout Europe in his own lifetime and was the most important Italian composer of the 18th century. Through his prolific output of concertos, it can be proven he solidly established the 'concerto' form into a three movement fast-slow-fast structure with a defined role pitting the soloist against the rest of the ensemble, which is a form still employed by composers today. To date, more than € 3,000,000 has been invested into this recording project, documenting the work as a reference which will be invaluable to the public and to scholars alike for many decades.

Related Articles View More Classical Music Stories

More Hot Stories For You