Like all Bartoli fans, I was ready for some fairly remarkable things when first informed, more than two years ago, that the "Vivaldi" project was in the works. Cecilia's inspired treatment of "Agitata da due venti" on the "Live in Italy" album. Nothing, however, could have prepared me for the journey in store on this CD. The familiarity, (thematically, at least) with the opening number,"Dell aura al sussurrar" only begins to open the door to vistas even dedicated Vivaldi lovers had never seen. Proceeding through the set, which, by the way, includes no fewer than SIX world premiere recordings, Cecilia stuns with the rapid-fire coloratura of "Sventurata navicella" and "Anch il par mar sommerga", brings her luscious, focused sound to "Zeffiretti che sussurate" and "Dite oime", and in between, brings to life songs which, while never achieving the poetic heights of those by some other composers, nonetheless provide a musical challenge which only a singer of Bartoli's particular talents (or perhaps someone like Natalie Dessay?) could surmount. Having had the good fortune to see her do most of this set live in Boston in October,2000, I find the comparisons between the live recital performance and this ablum inevitable but the recording, benefiting from the virtuosity of the musicians of Il Gardino Armonico, is more satisfying sonically. No one can match Cecilia Bartoli for sheer excitement on stage, her charisma is unmatched, but this CD is as close as one can get to actually being there for one of the most exciting performances in recent memory.