Friday, 29 February 2008

68. Antonio Vivaldi - L'Estro Armonico (1711)


Title: L'Estro Armonico
Performer: Frederico Guglielmo, L'Arte dell'Arco
Director: Christopher Hogwood
Year: 2002
Length: 1 hour 50 minutes


After a couple of very short concertos we get a set of 12 Vivaldi concertos for strings, and they are great. Vivaldi shows a lot of his range here, the concertos aren't simply lively Vivaldiesque things, they are also surprisingly sad in their slow movements or even menacing.

There are moments in these concertos where the orchestra attacks a chord in an almost aggressive way which works great. Other than that there are also moments of menace, for example at the beginning of the second concerto in a way very reminiscent of Vivaldi's Winter in the Four Seasons.

You can see a definite evolution since Corelli's set of concertos at the beginning of the century, the solo instruments although not exactly 'fighting' the orchestra or dialoguing with it have a place here which they didn't in Corelli. Great stuff.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

L'estro Armonico op. 3 ("Harmonic Inspiration" in Italian) is a collection of twelve concertos for 1, 2 and 4 violins written by Antonio Vivaldi in 1711. It largely augmented the reputation of Vivaldi as Il Prete Rosso; (The Red Priest). The collections were mostly put together in a chronological order.

J.S. Bach later transcribed concertos from this work for harpsichord solo (no.9, no.12), for organ solo (no.8, no.11) and for four harpsichords and strings (no.10).

Concerto n.1:

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