chapter  8
48 Pages

Vivaldi’s Chamber Concertos with Recorder or Flute

Vivaldi was the first European composer to write trios, quartets, quintets and sextets for concertante wind and string instruments and in so doing liberate chamber music from the hegemony of the sonata genre. The concerto RV Anh. 102, preserved at Stockholm in Statens Musikbibliotek, is a work for transverse flute, two violins and continuo written in a convincingly Italian style by a skilled flautist-composer from northern Europe. The manuscript of the concerto RV Anh. 102, prepared by the hand that also copied out the two spurious works RV Anh. 100 and RV Anh. 109 and the authentic concerto RV 436, bears a double attribution. The 'Sonata' RV 801 in C major in Herdringen is the oldest chamber concerto by Vivaldi currently known. Vivaldi's interest in the kind of music referred to as 'programme music' surfaces midway through the 1710s. The concerto RV 107 is marked out in addition by the marvelous chaconne with which the work ends.