(photo: Harald Hoffmann/DG)

Chamber Music

Venice Baroque Orchestra: Viva Vivaldi!

Today, Antonio Vivaldi is considered the culmination of the Baroque solo concerto. In the composer’s lifetime, however, the genre was still in its infancy. Vivaldi could not look back on any tradition; without exception, his concerti have experimental character. The Venice Baroque Orchestra, which in 2015 was awarded the “Echo Classic Prize” for their Vivaldi CD, will perform works by contemporaries of Vivaldi and put four of his loveliest violin concerti up for discussion.

Venice Baroque Orchestra

Giuliano Carmignola Violin

Francesco Geminiani

Concerto grosso in D minor La Follia after Corelli's op. 5 No. 12

Benedetto Marcello

Sinfonia in G major for strings and continuo

Antonio Vivaldi

Concerto in E minor for violin, strings and continuo RV 281

Antonio Vivaldi

Concerto in A minor for two violins, strings and continuo RV 523

Antonio Vivaldi

Concerto in C major for violin, strings and continuo RV 187

Antonio Vivaldi

Concerto in F major for violin, strings and continuo RV 283

Antonio Vivaldi

Concerto in D major for violin, strings and continuo RV 232

Dates and Tickets

Programme

Antonio Vivaldi “composed one concerto 500 times”, Igor Stravinsky once said disparagingly. Was the Venetian Baroque composer truly lacking in musical inventiveness? Not at all! That Vivaldi indeed wrote about 500 instrumental concertos is in itself already an astonishing achievement – especially if you consider that the composer of course also composed music for other instrumentation, including sonatas, sacred choral pieces and about 50 (!) operas. But Vivaldi’s compositional oeuvre should serve as a warning against making overhasty evaluations – and not only in terms of quantity. The fact that the composer lived in a time in which music was subject to manifold aesthetic and compositional changes also needs to be taken into consideration. Take, for instance, the genre of the solo concerto that he promoted so strongly: at the time it was still in its infancy.

Basically, it was Vivaldi who, together with other Italian composers of his generation, contributed to the “invention” as well as the first formal and technical consolidation of the solo concerto. Vivaldi’s contributions to this genre thus cannot look back on any tradition; without exception, they have experimental character. Besides performing works by contemporaries of Vivaldi, the Venice Baroque Orchestra, which in 2015 was awarded the “Echo Classic Prize” for their Vivaldi CD, is putting up for discussion four of his loveliest violin concerti, together with the charismatic violinist Giuliano Carmignola. Even Stravinsky ungrudgingly conceded that each of them is in its own way “perfect” ...

(photo: Harald Hoffmann/DG)