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Avi Avital discusses 'Art of the Mandolin' with the Harmonious World Podcast

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Interview with Harmonious World podcast

For the last episode of 2020, Harmonious World's Hilary Robertson interviewed mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital.

Avi has a new album out - 'Art of the Mandolin' - which feature music composed specifically for the instrument. There are some stunning performances and this is a great album to end 2020 with. Avi was the first mandolin soloist to be nominated for a classical Grammy, and you can hear why for yourself.

Backed by years of study and critically acclaimed performances, Avi Avital's latest album for Deutsche Grammophon presents a survey of the finest works ever written for mandolin. The pioneering Israeli musician's first full recording of original compositions for his instrument reflects the quality and breadth of its classical repertoire. Art of the Mandolin, released today internationally, also charts the artistic journey of a performer whose inspired new commissions and arrangements of virtuoso works have introduced the solo mandolin to the world's leading concert halls.

Art of the Mandolin, on which Avital is joined by the Venice Baroque Orchestra, harpist Anneleen Lenaerts, guitarist Sean Shibe, harpsichordist Yizhar Karshon and theorbo player Ophira Zakai, includes a concerto by Vivaldi, a sonata by Domenico Scarlatti, Beethoven's exquisite yet little-known Adagio ma non troppo for mandolin and harpsichord (or harp), and more recent chamber and solo works by Paul Ben-Haim, Hans Werner Henze, Giovanni Sollima and David Bruce. The programme not only reveals the versatility of this instrument but allows glimpses of its fascinating history over the last three centuries. Avital has specifically chosen music by composers not known for their mandolin works: "I wanted to explore what the instrument meant, and means, in the wider world – to composers who are, as it were, coming to it from the outside rather than the inside." 

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