For centuries, the mandolin has had its place in the hands of dilettantes more eager to charm than to strike deep. Avi Avital has made it his mission to prove the instrument’s tingling metallic soprano equal to the ambitions of a contemporary virtuoso, and the world has taken note.

Since signing with the Deutsche Grammophon label eight years ago, Avital has released a half dozen albums of Bach and Vivaldi transcriptions on the one hand and novel arrangements of world music on the other. Only with his latest, “Art of the Mandolin,” has he assembled a program dedicated exclusively to music written for the mandolin.