MuseData: Antonio Vivaldi

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Published Sonatas and Concertos

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (1678-1741) is best known to modern audiences for his instrumental music. Like most composers of his time, Vivaldi composed in the formal medium of the sonata in his earliest publications (from 1703). His reputation was propelled by his concertos, the earliest of which appeared in 1711. This is still the genre with which he is most widely associated.

Op. 1: Suonate da camera a trè, due violini e violone o cembalo

Vivaldi's twelve sonatas Op. 1 are presumed to have been published prior to his appointment as maestro di violino at the Ospedale della Pietà, Venice, because he is described without reference to the institution as "musico di violino, professore veneto" (a violinist and teacher in the Veneto). The works were dedicated to the count Annibale Gambara, one of five sons in a big family of noblemen from Brescia (the city in which Vivaldi's father was born), a provincial capital in the western Veneto. The Gambara also had a modest palace on the Grand Canal in the Venetian parish of San Barnabà.

Excerpt from the Violino primo (first violin) part of the Folìa of Vivaldi's Sonata Op. 1, No. 12 (Venice: Giuseppe Sala, 1705). Image from the partbook in the Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello, Venice. Used by permission.

These trio sonatas contained various numbers of movements (3 to 6), most in binary form. The four outer works (Nos. 1, 2, 11, and 12) were in minor keys, the others in major ones. The best known work is Op. 1, No. 12, which features an ambitious folìa movement at its conclusion. The earliest surviving print of Op. 1 was published in Venice (G. Sala) in 1705. The collection was reprinted in Amsterdam in 1723 (E. Roger, as print No. 363), in Paris in 1759 (Le Clerc), and in Austria in 1759. Many movements are brief and musically simple, so much so that were one to judge from this opus alone, one would not have anticipated the kind of success that Vivaldi later found.

G Minor Sonata Op 1, No. 1 RV 73

E Minor Sonata Op 1, No. 2 RV 67

C Major Sonata Op 1, No. 3 RV 61

E Major Sonata Op 1, No. 4 RV 66

F Major Sonata Op 1, No. 5 RV 69

D Major Sonata Op 1, No. 6 RV 62

Eb MajorSonata Op 1, No. 7 RV 65

D Major Sonata Op 1, No. 8 RV 64

A Major Sonata Op 1, No. 9 RV 75

Bb MajorSonata Op 1, No. 10 RV 78

B Minor Sonata Op 1, No. 11 RV 79

D Minor Sonata Op 1, No. 12 RV 63

Op. 2: Sonate a violino e basso per il cembalo

Detail of Luca Carlevaris's depiction of the regatta held on the Grand Canal, Venice, for Frederick IV of Denmark (1709). Reproduction of public-domain image from the Getty Museum as shown in the Google Art project.

The trio sonata, over which Vivaldi had exhibited his command in Op. 1, had been the most prevalent instrumental genre of the 1690s, but in the first decade of the eighteenth century interest began to gravitate towards the "solo" sonata--a work in several movements one ensemble instrument and a basso continuo. In this 1709 collection by the Venetian publisher Antonio Bortoli Vivaldi pursued a more expressive vein of musical enticement. The opus was dedicated to the visiting young monarch Frederick IV of Denmark. As prince of Schleswig Holstein, his extended stay drew much artistic attention. No fewer that three operas were dedicated to him.

Seven of these sonatas were cast in minor keys. The movement structure remained variable. Vivaldi was moving in the direction of fewer movements but with greater musical elaboration within each movement. He was still described as musico di violino but also as maestro dei concerti (concert-master) of the Ospedale della Pietà.

G Minor Sonata Op. 2, No. 1 RV 27

A Major Sonata Op. 2, No. 2 RV 31

D Minor Sonata Op. 2, No. 3 RV 14

F Major Sonata Op. 2, No. 4 RV 20

B Minor Sonata Op. 2, No. 5 RV 36

C Major Sonata Op. 2, No. 6 RV 1

C Minor Sonata Op. 2, No. 7 RV 8

G Major Sonata Op. 2, No. 8 RV 23

E Minor Sonata Op. 2, No. 9 RV 16

F Minor Sonata Op. 2, No. 10 RV 21

D Major Sonata Op. 2, No. 11 RV 9

A Minor Sonata Op. 2, No. 12 RV 32

Like Op. 1, Op. 2 had a long after-life in both reprints and manuscript copies, mainly abroad. These included the publications of E. Roger (Amsterdam, 1712) and several editions (1721-1730) by I. Walsh J. Young (London).

Op. 3: L'estro armonico: Concerti

Portrait of Ferdinando de' Medici, grand prince of Tuscany, in c. 1687 by the Venetian painter Niccolò Cassana. Wikimedia Commons.

The first concertos by Vivaldi to reach print were those of Opus 3 (Amsterdam, 1711). With them Vivaldi suddenly became a celebrity, for although he was well known as a virtuoso, his previously published works had found a relatively modest reception. Vivaldi's titles remained as they were in Op. 2. Most composers described the contents of a publication in sufficient detail to indicate instrumentation, but Vivaldi settled for the word "Concerti" in order to allow space for the titles of his patron, the Grand Prince of Tuscany, Ferdinando III (1663-1713). The Grand Prince, who led a flamboyant life, enjoyed his visits to Venice, where however he contracted syphilis in 1696. This led to his premature death and changed the course of Tuscan (and imperial) history. Meanwhile, however, his patronage of music benefited many composers of the time including Tomaso Albinoni (1671-1751), George Frederick Handel (1685-1759), and Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725). His Bavarian wife, Violante Beatrice (1673-1731), was in many ways a still more significant supporter of individual singers and instrumentalists.

Having now completed eight years' of teaching at the Ospedale of the Pietà in Venice, Vivaldi shows himself to have experimented with a variety of approaches to textures and groupings of instruments. These twelve works are arranged cyclically, such that Nos. 1, 4, 7, and 10 are scored for four violins and string orchestra; Nos. 2, 5, 8, and 11 for two violins, violoncello, and string orchestra; and Nos. 3, 6, 9, and 12 for solo violin (Violino Principale) and string orchestra. Within the concertino groups (four violins or, alternatively, two violins and violoncello), there is further separation. The "four violins" model often involves the pairing of the instruments such that one duo imitates another. This kind of experimentation is suggested by the word estro, which refers to gestational properties whereby one musical passage generates the need for the next. In musical terms, the sophistication of the idea represented an enormous step forward for Vivaldi, whose first sonatas were primitive and somewhat generic by comparison.

Additionally, the music was more cogent than before, the organization manifestly rational. The imaginative scoring, careful markup, and newly pungent musical affects were novelties not found in Opp. 1 or 2. If he had leaned on the familiar models of Arcangelo Corelli (1753-1713) before, Vivaldi was now producing music that was novel, ambitious, and aesthetically pleasing. Largely in coincidence with this publication, Vivaldi's concerts at the Pietà began to win plaudits from a succession of visiting dignitaries from abroad.

Within the context of the early concerto, Op. 3 was equally noteworthy. The now elderly Corelli had perfected the concerto grosso [his Op. 6 would be published only posthumously in 1714]. Vivaldi's concertos for two and four violins had some debts to these works, but his concertos for solo violin and orchestra did not have Corellian models to follow. The trumpet concertos by Giuseppe Torelli (1658-1709) are an oft mentioned alternative model, but Vivaldi's skills at articulation and exhibitionism were unrivaled. The violin was capable of much greater subtlety than the trumpet.

Dissemination of Individual Works from Op. 3

The Concerti Op. 3 were so popular that the entire opus was reprinted in Amsterdam within a year. Many reprints followed in both London and Paris through 1751. Because of the cyclical rotation of different combinations of instruments from work to work individual pieces in Op. 3 led themselves to diverse uses. The basic organization is shown in the table. Parsed one way, it is a four-fold cycle of three works. The textures vary with the instrumentation.

  • D Major Op. 3, No. 1 RV 549 (4 violins)
  • G Minor Op. 3, No. 2 RV 578 (2 violins, violoncello)
  • G Major Op. 3, No. 3 RV 310 (principal violin)
  • E Minor Op. 3, No. 4 RV 550 (4 violins)
  • A Major Op. 3, No. 5 RV 519 (2 violins, violoncello)*
  • A Minor Op. 3, No. 6 RV 356 (principal violin)
  • F Major Op. 3, No. 7 RV 567 (4 violins)*
  • A Minor Op. 3, No. 8 RV 522 (two violins, violoncello)
  • D Major Op. 3, No. 9 RV 230 (principal violin)*
  • B Minor Op. 3, No. 10 RV 580 (4 violins)
  • D Minor Op. 3, No. 11 RV 565 (2 violins, violoncello)
  • E Major Op. 3, No. 12 RV 265 (principal violin)*

Several works from Opus 3 took on lives of their own. Six works (indicated by an asterisk*) were transcribed by J. S. Bach, and there are faint clues that Bach may have transcribed them all. The concertos for two violins and cello were transcribed for organ.

  • G Minor Op. 3, No. 2 RV 578 (2 violins, violoncello)
  • A Major Op. 3, No. 5 RV 519 (2 violins, violoncello)*
  • A Minor Op. 3, No. 8 RV 522 (2 violins, violoncello)
  • D Minor Op. 3, No. 11 RV 565 (2 violins, violoncello)

Vivaldi's Op. 3 concertos for solo violin and orchestra became the basis for Bach's first harpsichord concertos.

  • G Major Op. 3, No. 3 RV 310 (principal violin)
  • A Minor Op. 3, No. 6 RV 356 (principal violin)
  • D Major Op. 3, No. 9 RV 230 (principal violin)*
  • E Major Op. 3, No. 12 RV 265 (principal violin)*

Only one of the works for four violins was recomposed--as a concerto for four harpsichords.

Apart from Bach's transcriptions, there was wide circulation of the music. Much of it was stimulated by John Walsh's edition of c. 1715, in which the order of Nos. 6-9 was altered such that these concertos became Nos. 8, 9, 6, and 7). The titles with as asterisk (*) above were transcribed for clavichord in a manuscript (Manchester UK) now known as Anne Dawson's Book. Numerous other transcriptions survive in Europe and North America.

CCARH Scores and Parts for Opus 3


CCARH cooperated with Dover Publications Inc. in producing the scores that appear in L'estro armonico: Twelve Concertos for Violins and String Orchestra, Op. 3. The cover is shown below.

The collection entitle L'estro armonico was the first title under Vivaldi's name to draw widespread attention. It is likely that some of the work had already been performed in selected gatherings. The were profusely copied, arranged, and reprinted (with numerous variants) over the next two decades.

Op. 4: La stravaganza: Concerti

Vivaldi's violin concertos Op. 4 (announced in London on January 1, 1715) achieved a much broader penetration of the European market than any previous publication of his music. The collection, published in Amsterdam as Estienne Roger's prints Nos. 399 and 400 bore the title La stravaganza (The Extravaganza), a designation popular at the time. In musical contexts it usually referred to chromatic harmonies, but in Vivaldi's case it warned musicians of the challenges the works posed for the principal violinist. Op. 4 was a compendium of virtuoso techniques that were popularized by Vivaldi, who, as a performer, was known far and wide for his dating. This collection was dedicated to a Venetian nobleman, Vettor Delfin. With only one exception (Op. 4, No. 7), the concertos were in three movements.

At the time the publication appeared Vivaldi had been filling holes left by the departure of Francesco Gasparini (1661-1727) at the Pietà. He had turned is attention to motets and oratorios. It is likely that these pieces were composed between 1711 and 1713. Reprints of Op. 4 appeared in 1723, 1728, and 1730, but individual works were liberated from the printed version in various manuscript transmissions. Vivaldi had now reached the point where demand for his music exceeded the amount of time he could afford to devote to such genres. Op. 7, No. 1, for example, was a first cousin of Op. 4, No. 9. Myriad other variants of this set were quoted in later works, introducing countless splinters of musical identity that defy simple listings. Vivaldi himself adapted many of his works to suit new purposes as the occasion arose.

Op. No. RV Title Score
Op. 4, No. 1 RV 383a Concerto in B major PDF
Op. 4, No. 2 RV 279 Concerto in E minor PDF
Op. 4, No. 3 RV 301 Concerto in G major
Op. 4, No. 4 RV 357 Concerto in A minor PDF
Op. 4, No. 5 RV 347 Concerto in A major PDF
Op. 4, No. 6 RV 316a Concerto in D minor PDF

Op. 5: VI Sonate/quatro à violino solo e basso e due a due violini e basso continuo

The six works of Op. 5 were offered as a continuation of Op. 2. They were published in Amsterdam (1716) as Michel Charles Le Cene's No. 418. This was Vivaldi's first printed opus without a dedicatee. Is it possible that they were delivered to the printer as early as 1709? No autograph material for any of them survives. This opus was not recirculated in later prints or significant manuscript copies. The first movement of No. 6 (RV 72) was included in J. B. Cartier's L'Art du Violon (Paris, 1798).

F Major Sonata Op. 5, No. 1 [=Op. 2, No. 13] RV 18

A Major Sonata Op. 5, No. 2 [=Op. 2, No. 14] RV 30

Bb Major Sonata Op. 5, No. 3 [=Op. 2, No. 15] RV 33

B Minor Sonata Op. 5, No. 4 [=Op. 2, No. 16] RV 35

Bb Major Sonata Op. 5, No. 5 [=Op. 2, No. 17] RV 76

G Minor Sonata Op. 5, No. 6 [=Op. 2, No. 18] RV 72

Op. 6: VI Concerti à cinque strumenti: 3 violini, alto viola, e basso continuo

The six concertos of Op. 6, for three violins, viola, and basso continuo, were published between 1716 and 1721 in Amsterdam by Jeanne Roger (No. 452). Again, there was no dedicatee. Vivaldi remained maestro di violino and maestro di concerti at the Pietà. Five of the works are in minor keys. As with Op. 5, its recirculation was limited, although Roger and Le Cene brought out one (undated) reprint.

G Minor Concerto Op. 6, No. 1 RV 324

C Minor Concerto Op. 6, No. 2 RV 259

G Minor Concerto Op. 6, No. 3 RV 318

D Major Concerto Op. 6, No. 4 RV 216

E Minor Concerto Op. 6, No. 5 RV 280

D Minor Concerto Op. 6, No. 6 RV 239

Op. 7: Concerti a 5 strumenti: Tre violini, alto viola e basso continuo

Vivsaldi's 12 concertos a 5 (meaning three violins, viola, and basso continuo) were, like the works of Op. 6, planned with a violino principale for the solo episodes of the outer movements and the middle movement of three-movement works. These two opuses (6 and 7) were the first ones in which all the works contained three movements. One can see that Vivaldi's idea of concerto had evolved considerably over a decade. In contrast to Op. 6, he here introduced alternative scoring for an oboist instead of a principal violinist in Nos. xx and yy.

As scores passed through more hands and as Vivaldi himself branched out into new modes of musical expression, his concertos began to take on a life of their own. No. 1 was revised by Johann Pisendel (cf. RV 370), who played a significant role in performing and preserving Vivaldi's music in the Dresden Hofkapelle. No. 9 found a new life in a version for oboe and strings (RV 460), published as Op. 11, No. 6. No. 10 was nicknamed "Il Ritiro." No. 11 ("Il Grosso Mogul") was published with a different middle movement (RV 208a) in Walsh & Hare's anthology Select Harmony (1730). Many of the works may have been composed considerably earlier than their print dates suggest, and in the case of this pair RV 208 is conjecturally from before 1710, its alternative arrangement from not later than 1720. One manuscript copy of the earlier work incudes a written cadanza. It was also transcribed by J. S. Bach for organ as BWV 594. Parts and/or scores for five of the works are preserved in early copies in the Sächsische Landesbibliothek, Dresden, while other early versions are found in manuscripts in Manchester (UK) and Trondheim (Norway), among other locations.

Bb Major Concerto Op. 7, No. 1 RV 465

C Major Concerto Op. 7, No. 2 RV 188

G Minor Concerto Op. 7, No. 3 RV 326 Bb Major RV 370

A Minor Concerto Op. 7, No. 4 RV 354

F Major Concerto Op. 7, No. 5 RV 285a F Major RV 285 3

Bb MajorConcerto Op. 7, No. 6 RV 374

Bb MajorConcerto Op. 7, No. 7 RV 464

G Major Concerto Op. 7, No. 8 RV 299

Bb MajorConcerto Op. 7, No. 9 RV 373

F Major Concerto Op. 7, No. 10 RV 294a F Major RV 294

D Major Concerto Op. 7, No. 11 RV 208a BWV 594 (organ)

D Major Concerto Op. 7, No. 12 RV 214

Op. 8: Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'invenzione: Concerti a quattro e cinque

Vivaldi's most famous opus was published in Amsterdam by Michel Charles Le Cène in 1725. It is clear, though, that various portions of sundry works had been written earlier. What was perhaps new was the formalization of the scheme, complete with the texts of the sonnets with which they were coordinated, of the first four concertos--The Four Seasons. These works, and their cyclical organization, captured the imagination of many and led to a "Four Seasons" industry of arrangements performances that extends to the current day.

Unlike other opuses that postdated Vivaldi's move to Mantua, this one resumed the practice of dedicating the collection to a nobleman, in this case Venceslas, count of Morzin (also Morcin, spelled Marzin in the print itself). (Two concertos known only in manuscript, RV 449 and 496, were also dedicated to the count. He was Bohemian with townhouses in Prague and Vienna. He was an occasional patron of Venetian opera. Prague, the capital of Bohemia, was a thriving city was rapidly developing enterprises focused on opera and on the development of string music. One can see how poetic justice prevailed in this dedication: Bohemians not only loved music but were happy to master its component parts.

This opus was more popular in France than anywhere else. Parisian reprints issued from the presses of Madame Boivin (c. 1739, 1743, 1748). Manuscripts were widely circulated. Rearrangements of portions of the opus were opus also proliferated. In Dresden, the orchestration of some works was enriched by Johann Pisendel, who also elaborated some of the articulation.

In the works as a set, major keys predominate. Nos. 7, 9, AND 11 are known in alternative versions. The final of movement of Op. 8, No. 11 presents a particularly complex web of revisions to the alternation of tutti and solo.

E Major (Spring) Concerto Op. 8, N. 1 RV 269

G Minor (Summer) Concerto Op. 8, N. 2 RV 315

F Major (Autumn) Concerto Op. 8, N. 3 RV 293

F Minor (Winter) Concerto Op. 8, N. 4 RV 297

Eb Major Concerto Op. 8, N. 5 RV 253

C Major Concerto Op. 8, N. 6 RV 180

D Minor Concerto Op. 8, N. 7 RV 242

G Minor Concerto Op. 8, N. 7a RV 242a

D Minor Concerto Op. 8, N. 8 RV 332

Bb Major (The Hunt) Concerto Op. 8 N. 9 RV 236

D Major Concerto Op. 8, No. 9a RV 454

C Major Concerto Op. 8, N. 10 RV 362

D Major Concerto Op. 8, N. 11 RV 210

D Major Concerto Op. 8, N. 11a RV 210

C Major Concerto Op. 8, No. 12 RV 178

CCARH Parts for Op. 8

The following parts for Antonio Vivaldi's Op.8 concerti accompany the full score available from Dover Publications:

  • Vivaldi, Antonio. "The Four Seasons" and Other Violin Concertos in Full Score; Opus 8, Complete. Ed. by Eleanor Selfridge-Field. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications; 1995. ISBN 0-486-28638-X.
Opus, Work No. Ryom No. Genre / Instrumentation Key Nickname; Related works Parts
Op. 8, No. 1 RV 269 Concerto / VPr; V1 V2 Va Vc Org E Major "La Primavera" ("Spring") parts
Op. 8, No. 2 RV 315 Concerto / VPr; V1 V2 Va Vc Org G Minor "L'Estate" ("Summer") parts
Op. 8, No. 3 RV 293 Concerto / VPr; V1 V2 Va Vc Org F Major "L'Autunno" ("Autumn") parts
Op. 8, No. 4 RV 297 Concerto / VPr; V1 V2 Va Vc Org F Minor "L'Inverno" ("Winter") parts
Op. 8, No. 5 RV 253 Concerto / VPr; V1 V2 Va Vc Org in E Minor "La Tempesta de Mare" ("The Storm at Sea") parts
Op. 8, No. 6 RV 180 Concerto / VPr; V1 V2 Va Vc Org C Major "Il Piacere ("Pleasure") parts
Op. 8, No. 7 RV 242 Concerto / VPr; V1 V2 Va Vc Org D Minor RV 242a parts
Op. 8, No. 8 RV 332 Concerto / VPr; V1 V2 Va Vc Org G Minor parts
Op. 8, No. 9 RV 236 Concerto / VPr; V1 V2 Va Vc Org D Minor RV 454 parts
Op. 8, No. 10 RV 362 Concerto / VPr; V1 V2 Va Vc Org B Major "La Caccia" ("The Hunt") parts
Op. 8, No. 11 RV 210 Concerto / VPr; V1 V2 Va Vc Org D Major RV 210a parts
Op. 8, No. 12 RV 178 Concerto / VPr; V1 V2 Va Vc Org C Major parts

Op. 9: La cetra. Concerti

Vivaldi Concertos Op. 9, published in Amsterdam by Michel Charles Le Cène in Vols. 533 and 534 (datable from 1727), have the distinction of having been dedicated to the emperor Charles VI. The two met two years later in Trieste, where the emperor was more enraptured by Vivaldi's music and intelligence with which he discussed it than with the diplomatic matters at hand. (Op. 9 is easily confused with a contemporary set of twelve unpublished concertos for violin also called "La Cetra.")

The works of Op. 9 were not so widely circulated as those of other recent volumes of Vivaldi's music. The popularity of the Four Seasons seems, in fact, to have the effect of blinding the public to all of Vivaldi's future prints. Three of the works were known in alternative versions.

C Major Op. 9, No. 1 RV 181a

C Major RV 180

A Major Op. 9, No. 2 RV 375

G Minor Op. 9, No. 3 RV 334

E Major Op. 9, No. 4 RV 263a

E Major RV 263

A Minor Op. 9, No. 5 RV 358

A Major Op. 9, No. 6 RV 348

Bb Major Op. 9, No. 7 RV 359

D Minor Op. 9, No. 8 RV 238

Bb Major Op. 9, No. 9 RV 530

G Major Op. 9, No. 10 RV 300

C Minor Op. 9, No. 11 RV 198a

C Minor RV 198

G Major Op. 9, No. 12 RV 391

Op. 10: VI Concerti a flauto traverso

Six Concertos for Flute and String Orchestra, Op. 10; Related Variants

As published, Vivaldi's Opus 10 is a straightforward collection of concertos for flute and string orchestra. Most works which originally called for obbligato flutes seem to have originated during the early 1720s, perhaps reflecting opportunities that Vivaldi encountered in Rome, where he stayed intermittently between c. 1719 and 1724. Although the transverse flute was then little known in Italy, the availability of an excellent player is was essential for the execution of several of his works for it.

Opus 10 appear in 1729, in rough coincidence with Vivaldi's violin concertos Opp. 11 and 12. All three volumes were published in Amsterdam. Although published set was designed for a market oriented towards some kind of standardized, relatively neutral instrumentation, the origins of the individual works were heterogeneous. The indications suggested by the related concertos show on the lower half of the chart below do not include subtle differences of instrumental alternatives and/or pairings--for example, an independent oboe part vs. an oboe part duplicating a second violin, a separate cello part vs. an unspecified Basso, and so forth. One manuscript source for No. 3 is scored for recorder rather than violin.

The transverse flute and the recorder were both associated with a certain freedom of timbral composition. The so-called chamber concertos (RV 570, 90, and 101) for flute (or recorder), oboe, bassoon, violin, and bass can be understood to signify this sense of free play, rather than a subgenre cast in concrete. Although Vivaldi's chamber concertos had few analogues during Vivaldi's lifetime, they paved the way to a rich chamber repertory in the later eighteenth century.

Opus, Work No. Ryom No. Genre / Instrumentation Key Nickname Parts
Op. 10, No. 1 RV 433 Concerto / Flute; V1 V2 Va Vc BC F Major "The Sea Tempest" parts
Op. 10, No. 2 RV 439 Concerto / Flute; V1 V2 Va Vc BC G Minor "Night" parts
Op. 10, No. 3 RV 428 Concerto / Flute; V1 V2 Va Vc BC D Major "The Goldfinch" parts
Op. 10, No. 4 RV 435 Concerto / Flute; V1 V2 Va Vc BC G Major parts
Op. 10, No. 5 RV 434 Concerto / Flute; V1 V2 Va Vc BC F Major parts
Op. 10, No. 6 RV 437 Concerto / Flute; V1 V2 Va Vc BC G Major parts
Related concertos
Unpublished RV 444 Concerto / Sopranino Recorder; V1 V2 Va Vc Bn C Major parts
Op. 10, No. 1 (alt.) RV 570 Concerto / Flute, Oboe, Bassoon; VPr V1 V2 Va BC F Major parts
Op. 10, No. 2 (alt.) RV 501 Concerto / Bassoon; V1 V2 Va BC B Major parts
Op. 10, No. 3 (alt.) RV   90 Concerto / Flute, Oboe, Violin and Bassoon D Major parts
Op. 10, No. 5 (alt.) RV 442 Concerto / Recorder; V1 V2 Va BC F Major parts
Op. 10, No. 6 (alt.) RV 101  Concerto / Flute, Oboe, Violin, Bassoon, BC G Major parts

The first three works are the best known ones of the collection. Their programmatic allusions are largely confirmed in associated manuscripts. Storms at sea and phantoms of the night (the images cultivated by the first two) were staples of opera staging at Venice's Teatro Sant'Angelo, the Venetian theater with which Vivaldi and his father were most consistently associated. Both played a prominent role in Venetian scene paintings contemporary with Vivaldi.

The representation of sleep in the fourth movement of Op 10, No. 2, is illustrative of a fascination with dreams and the supernatural that was probed cautiously on the stage because of the pervasive scrutiny of religious censors. However, the dramatization of darkness fed Sant'Angelo's penchant for grottoes and grotesque scenes. It is darkness that the bassoon invokes in the manuscript RV 501 (the loose analogue of No. 2), where the the key is Bb Major rather than G Minor.

Vivaldi's depictions of bird-calls (in Op. 10, No. 3 a bullfinch) were prevalent not only in his concertos but also in his operas, and in dozens of works by other composers of the time. Also elsewhere they often suggested the formal gardens that were so much promoted by the aristocracy, in Vivaldi's case they are more often a natural depiction of bucolic habitats consistent with the imagery of Arcadian shepherds than of programmed landscapes abroad.

The sopranino recorder concerto RV 444 is a unique work among Vivaldi's oeuvre, although it could easily have been adapted to a different soloist. It would have suited a virtuoso of considerable renown.

The parts provided here correspond to the Dover Publication entitled Six Concertos for Flute and String Orchestra, Op. 10, and Related Variants.

Op. 11: Sei concerti

In Opp. 11 and 12 Vivaldi returned to the practice of publishing six works at a time. His earlier 12-work prints are usually presented as two books of six, but there were practical benefits to grouping the works into two sets. Opp. 11 and 12 appear to be cut from the same cloth and may have been intended as a single publication. They appeared with consecutive print numbers (Nos. 545, 546) from presses of Michel Charles Le Cène in 1729. In comparison to all of Vivaldi's music printed since 1711 they were poorly circulated.

D Major Concerto Op. 11, No. 1 RV 207

E Minor Concerto Op. 11, No. 2 RV 277

(Il Favorito in ms)

A Major Concerto Op. 11, No. 3 RV 336

G Major Concerto Op. 11, No. 4 RV 308

G Minor Concerto Op. 11, No. 5 RV 202

C Minor Concerto Op. 11, No. 6 RV 460

C Minor [=Concerto Op. 9, No. 3] RV 334

Op. 12: Sei concerti

Vivaldi six concertos Op. 12 (1729) represent the final printed publication of his music.

G Minor Concerto Op. 12, No. 1 RV 317

D Minor Concerto Op. 12, No. 2 RV 244

D Major Concerto Op. 12, No. 3 RV 124

C Major Concerto Op. 12, No. 4 RV 173

Bb Major Concerto Op. 12, No. 5 RV 379

Bb Major Concerto Op. 12, No. 6 RV 361


Juditha triumphans

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