At the beginning of the 18th century the concerto grosso was slowly losing ground. Composers – many of them virtuosos themselves – were eager to discover new ways of showing off with their instruments. Thus originated the solo concerto, a genre in which Vivaldi very rapidly outstripped all the others. Relying on the more than average quality of the female musicians at the Venetian Ospedale della Pietà he was in a position to experiment to his heart’s content, always searching for new instrumental combinations. Backed up by this experience Vivaldi wrote concertos for the top musicians of his days, often commissioned by prestigious patrons. The French-Canadian ensemble Arion with flautist Claire Guimond, bassoonist Mathieu Lussier and violoncellist Jaap ter Linden brings a colourful concert, including La Notte and Il Gardellino, two of Vivaldi’s most characteristic works.