Concerto for Strings in C major RV 114

Composer: Antonio Vivaldi (b. 1678 - d. 1741)
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Composer: Antonio Vivaldi (b. 1678 - d. 1741)

Performance date: 01/07/2018

Venue: St. Brendan’s Church

Composition Year: 1678 - 1741

Duration: 00:05:35

Recording Engineer: Ciaran Cullen, RTÉ

Instrumentation Category:Baroque Ensemble

Instrumentation Other: Baroque Ensemble

Artists: Camerata Øresund (Ida Lorenzen [violin], Tinne Albrechtsen [violin], Alison Luthmers [vioin], Rastko Roknic [viola], Hanna Loftsdóttir [cello], Joakim Peterson [double bass], Dohyo Sol [lute], Magdalena Karolak [oboe], Marcus Mohlin [harpsicord]) - [baroque ensemble]


Camerata Øresund, Peter Spissky [violin, director]

Antonio Vivaldi [1678-1741]

Concerto for Strings in C major RV 114

1. Allegro

2. Adagio – Ciaccona

This short two-movement piece is one of the so-called Paris Concertos, so called because their original manuscripts reside in the library of the Paris Conservatory. It is one of about 60 concertos he wrote for string orchestra alone, with no solo part; but they were very close to the emerging genre of the orchestral sinfonia and may have influenced it. In the dotted rhythms that populate its opening movement, the concerto does show the influence of French Baroque music, but in other ways it looks forward to the Classical style. The first movement is built around the contrast between the dotted-rhythm figure and a group of running sixteenth notes in the violins, and this contrast is neatly harnessed to shifts in the rate of harmonic motion; the dotted figure is stolid and harmonically almost immobile, while the sixteenth notes veer around the circle of fifths. The effect is almost one of a historical dialogue of styles. The sixteenth note figure includes a number of quasi-fugal passages, a hallmark his ripieno concertos. 

The first movement ends with a two-bar violin solo leading to a dominant chord, and thence into the second movement — which against all expectations is a set of variations. These are based on a brief and distinctive syncopated arpeggio theme, and they offer all kinds of variety; several variations right before the end are in C minor, and the final reprise of the opening theme has the character of a recapitulation after all that minor key music. The opening syncopation is treated with extraordinary invention in the variations, and the structure of the group of variations as a whole is subtle. In all, for a piece of music that lasts no more than six minutes in performance, this little concerto holds extraordinary interest.