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Lute concerto in D major RV 93

Antonio Vivaldi (b. 1678 - d. 1741)

Ewa Kupiec (photo credit: Laion)

Ewa Kupiec (photo credit: Laion)

Composer
Antonio Vivaldi (b. 1678 - d. 1741)
Composition Year
1729-31
Work Movements
1. Allegro
2. Largo
3. Allegro
Artists
Dohyo Sol [archlute], Arte Dei Suonatori (Aureliusz Golinski, Ewa Golinska [violins], Anna Nowak [viola], Tomasz Pokrzywinski [cello], Joanna Boslak-Gorniok [harpsichord])

Programme Note Writer:
© Kate Hearne

The diversity and imagination that Vivaldi manages to exhibit in his huge output of concertos is overwhelming. With over 500 solo concertos surviving, and many more which have been lost, it is not surprising that the stylistic structures and models that Vivaldi devised, such as the three-movement format and ritornello style, became integrated into the concerto genre for evermore. One reason why Vivaldi managed to create, for the most part, diverse and interesting material with each new composition is because he wrote mainly for specific musicians and occasions. Unfortunately there is not enough remaining evidence to get even a glimpse of who these people may be, or why their characters and playing style led Vivaldi to write for them. RV.93 is an exception though. It is one of the rare examples which gives a clear explicit clue as to whom Vivaldi intended it for. The manuscript paper it is written on, for one, is of Bohemian origin, and bears the inscription ‘Per Sua Eccellenza Il Conte Wrttbij’. It is know that Vivaldi spent some time in Prague from 1729-1731, and this is almost certainly a work written for Count Johan Joseph Wrtby during this visit. The two lively outer movements of this concerto encase a sublime largo with a winning melody, typical of Vivaldi, floating over sustained upper strings and accompanied by a pulsating bass line. There is evidence of some influence of folk music in the opening movement, perhaps inspired by some street musicians Vivaldi met on his travels to Bohemia, while the ritornello of last movement bears just the slightest hint of the accompanying styles of the vocal music he was producing during the same period. When Vivaldi writes that this is a concerto for lute, he could mean one of many instruments. It is obvious, though, that the work is intended for the archlute, an instrument which is a mixture between a Renaissance lute and a theorbo, but smaller in size than the theorbo making it easier to play solo repertoire. By Vivaldi’s time, the archlute had become the instrument of choice for solo repertoire and chamber music, and it even appears in the list of continuo instruments for many of Händel’s operas. 

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Lute concerto in D major RV 93

Composer: Antonio Vivaldi (b. 1678 - d. 1741)
Performance date: Saturday 30th June 2012
Venue: St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland

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Composer Antonio Vivaldi (b. 1678 - d. 1741)
Work Title Lute concerto in D major RV 93
Composition Year 1729-31
Work Movements 1. Allegro
2. Largo
3. Allegro
Artist(s) Dohyo Sol [archlute], Arte Dei Suonatori (Aureliusz Golinski, Ewa Golinska [violins], Anna Nowak [viola], Tomasz Pokrzywinski [cello], Joanna Boslak-Gorniok [harpsichord])
Performance Date Saturday 30th June 2012
Performance Venue St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland
Event Coffee Concert
Duration 00:10:11
Recording Engineer Anton Timoney, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category Small Mixed Ensemble
Instrumentation lu, 2vn, va, vc, hpd
Programme Note Writer © Kate Hearne

The diversity and imagination that Vivaldi manages to exhibit in his huge output of concertos is overwhelming. With over 500 solo concertos surviving, and many more which have been lost, it is not surprising that the stylistic structures and models that Vivaldi devised, such as the three-movement format and ritornello style, became integrated into the concerto genre for evermore. One reason why Vivaldi managed to create, for the most part, diverse and interesting material with each new composition is because he wrote mainly for specific musicians and occasions. Unfortunately there is not enough remaining evidence to get even a glimpse of who these people may be, or why their characters and playing style led Vivaldi to write for them. RV.93 is an exception though. It is one of the rare examples which gives a clear explicit clue as to whom Vivaldi intended it for. The manuscript paper it is written on, for one, is of Bohemian origin, and bears the inscription ‘Per Sua Eccellenza Il Conte Wrttbij’. It is know that Vivaldi spent some time in Prague from 1729-1731, and this is almost certainly a work written for Count Johan Joseph Wrtby during this visit. The two lively outer movements of this concerto encase a sublime largo with a winning melody, typical of Vivaldi, floating over sustained upper strings and accompanied by a pulsating bass line. There is evidence of some influence of folk music in the opening movement, perhaps inspired by some street musicians Vivaldi met on his travels to Bohemia, while the ritornello of last movement bears just the slightest hint of the accompanying styles of the vocal music he was producing during the same period. When Vivaldi writes that this is a concerto for lute, he could mean one of many instruments. It is obvious, though, that the work is intended for the archlute, an instrument which is a mixture between a Renaissance lute and a theorbo, but smaller in size than the theorbo making it easier to play solo repertoire. By Vivaldi’s time, the archlute had become the instrument of choice for solo repertoire and chamber music, and it even appears in the list of continuo instruments for many of Händel’s operas.