Until this very fine effort by violinist Walter Reiter and his colleagues, there was no good recent recording (that is, from the past 10-15 years) of these relatively early Vivaldi works for violin and continuo. As realized here, the continuo consists of harpsichord and cello with theorbo or Baroque guitar on three of the sonatas. Although Vivaldi's music, especially at this stage (1709) had neither the high artistic distinction nor intellectual sophistication that characterizes even the lesser works of Bach, it maintains an extraordinary and consistently appealing nature, carried by melodies that always fall easily on the ear and by a propulsive, catchy rhythmic pulse. Unfortunately, it's easy to make Vivaldi boring—and many performers oblige by being too casual and only scraping the surface or too serious and forcing the music into ill-fitting duds. Reiter has the right idea: he respectfully plays what's there (no distracting show-off mannerisms) while fortifying his solo lines with brilliant, singing violin tone and effective yet refined dramatic touches. In other words, this is mature if not sensational playing that brings the music to life with interpretations that will hold up very well over time. Reiter benefits from able, congenial musical partners who properly understand their role in these pieces to be one of more or less equal partnership rather than mere accompaniment. Some listeners will appreciate the bright, somewhat glassy quality to the sound of the violin and harpsichord, while I would have preferred just a bit more warmth.