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Violin Concerto in A major RV.352

Antonio Vivaldi (b. 1678 - d. 1741)

Vadim Gluzman

Vadim Gluzman

Composer
Antonio Vivaldi (b. 1678 - d. 1741)
Composition Year
before 1741
Work Movements
1. Allegro molto
2. Largo
3. Allegro
Artists
Vadim Gluzman [violin], Sarah Sexton [violin], Mihaela Girardi [violin], Rebecca Jones [viola], Sarah McMahon [cello], Sarah Halpin [double bass], Malcolm Proud [harpsichord]

Programme Note Writer:
© Francis Humphrys

When we speak in awed tones of the 500-odd concertos that Vivaldi wrote we should perhaps remember that the majority of them lasted less than ten minutes, some much less. Even Mozart who is hardly long-winded would be scarcely through his first movement by the time Vivaldi is taking his bow. Which is not to decry Vivaldi’s extraordinary fecundity – over 850 works in all including a huge number of operas - and the almost immeasurable delight that these miniature concertos bring.

Vivaldi scholarship was turned upside down in the 1930s by the discovery and purchase by Turin Library (through generous private donations) of Vivaldi’s own personal collection of around 450 manuscripts. These are held in a bank vault in Turin and the enterprising French record label Naïve initiated in 2000 a project to record all these works.

For much of his composing life Vivaldi was in charge of musical development at the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice, a charitable institutions for the care of orphaned, abandoned and illegitimate girls, in particular the daughters resulting from illicit liaisons of the nobility. Remarkably the Pietà went out of its way to teach its Figlie to play music to a very high standard, so much so that the Pietà orchestra became famous all over Europe, while one Anna Maria dal Violin, who was taught by Vivaldi, was renowned as a soloist in her own right. As well as this the orchestra played on a spectacular set of instruments from makers such as Stradivarius, the Amati brothers, Guarneri, Rogeri, dalla Costa, Matteo and Francesco Gofriller and Montagnana. For Vivaldi to have such a remarkable orchestra under his direction gave him an enormous advantage when composing his orchestral music.

Both today’s concertos share a brilliant virtuosity combined with a ferocious rhythmic drive in the outer movements with a liquid melodic outpouring in the two Largos to delightful pizzicato accompaniments. The energy generated by these remarkable miniatures is infectious and almost overpowering.

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Violin Concerto in A major RV.352

Composer: Antonio Vivaldi (b. 1678 - d. 1741)
Performance date: Tuesday 29th June 2010
Venue: St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland

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Composer Antonio Vivaldi (b. 1678 - d. 1741)
Work Title Violin Concerto in A major RV.352
Composition Year before 1741
Work Movements 1. Allegro molto
2. Largo
3. Allegro
Artist(s) Vadim Gluzman [violin], Sarah Sexton [violin], Mihaela Girardi [violin], Rebecca Jones [viola], Sarah McMahon [cello], Sarah Halpin [double bass], Malcolm Proud [harpsichord]
Performance Date Tuesday 29th June 2010
Performance Venue St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland
Event Coffee concert
Duration 00:06:13
Recording Engineer Anton Timoney, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category Small Mixed Ensemble
Instrumentation 3vn, va, vc, db, hpd
Programme Note Writer © Francis Humphrys

When we speak in awed tones of the 500-odd concertos that Vivaldi wrote we should perhaps remember that the majority of them lasted less than ten minutes, some much less. Even Mozart who is hardly long-winded would be scarcely through his first movement by the time Vivaldi is taking his bow. Which is not to decry Vivaldi’s extraordinary fecundity – over 850 works in all including a huge number of operas - and the almost immeasurable delight that these miniature concertos bring.

Vivaldi scholarship was turned upside down in the 1930s by the discovery and purchase by Turin Library (through generous private donations) of Vivaldi’s own personal collection of around 450 manuscripts. These are held in a bank vault in Turin and the enterprising French record label Naïve initiated in 2000 a project to record all these works.

For much of his composing life Vivaldi was in charge of musical development at the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice, a charitable institutions for the care of orphaned, abandoned and illegitimate girls, in particular the daughters resulting from illicit liaisons of the nobility. Remarkably the Pietà went out of its way to teach its Figlie to play music to a very high standard, so much so that the Pietà orchestra became famous all over Europe, while one Anna Maria dal Violin, who was taught by Vivaldi, was renowned as a soloist in her own right. As well as this the orchestra played on a spectacular set of instruments from makers such as Stradivarius, the Amati brothers, Guarneri, Rogeri, dalla Costa, Matteo and Francesco Gofriller and Montagnana. For Vivaldi to have such a remarkable orchestra under his direction gave him an enormous advantage when composing his orchestral music.

Both today’s concertos share a brilliant virtuosity combined with a ferocious rhythmic drive in the outer movements with a liquid melodic outpouring in the two Largos to delightful pizzicato accompaniments. The energy generated by these remarkable miniatures is infectious and almost overpowering.