The title derives from Vivaldi's astonishing roster of patrons – "nine Highnesses", he proudly noted in a letter – for whom the various concerti featured here were written, and from the seemingly angelic virtuosity of his musicians at Venice's Ospedale della Pietà.
The most notable pieces are those featuring woodwind as lead instrument. The transformation of the bassoon in his Concerto for Bassoon, Strings & Continuo is remarkable: scuttling around the strings in the first part like a retainer fussing around its Lord, before becoming lordly itself in the Largo. But it's Pamela Thorby's lead role in the Concerto for Sopranino Recorder, Strings & Continuo that dazzles, a virtuoso performance.
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