Concerto for Strings in G minor RV 157

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

Performance date: 03/07/2014

Venue: St. Brendan’s Church

Composition Year: 1729

Duration: 00:05:38

Recording Engineer: Anton Timoney, RTÉ lyric fm

Instrumentation Category:Small Mixed Ensemble

Instrumentation Other: 3vn, va, vc, db, lu, hpd

Artists: Concerto Copenhagen (Peter Spissky, Fredrik From, Antina Hugosson [violins], Torbjörn Köhl [viola], Kate Hearne [cello], Mattias Frostenson [bass], Fredrik Bock [archlute, guitar], Lars-Ulrik Mortensen [harpsichord, director]) - [baroque ensemble]

Concerto for Strings in G minor RV 157

Vivaldi wrote almost
60 ripieno concertos, mainly for strings and without a clear soloist, closely
resembling his operatic sinfonias. RV 157 survives in both Vivaldi’s private
collection and also as the first concerto in a collection known as the Paris Manuscripts held at the library at
the Paris
conservatoire in copies made by Vivaldi’s father, Giovanni Battista
[c.1655–1736]. As there is no soloist to attract attention, the genre of concerto a quatro leaves the composer
with a high degree of freedom. The first movement is constructed over an
ostinato bass figure, the violins dancing in continuous dialogue with each
other over the chromatic, persistent bass. The contrapuntal second movement is
based on a dotted fugal theme which builds up a harmonic web of dissonance and
unease. The tension is broken by the explosive onset of the final movement.
Vivaldi creates an energy here though rapid scalic passages in the bass,
superimposed by jazzy syncopated rhythms from the upper strings. This glorious
finale creates a mood not unlike Vivaldi’s stormy last movement to Summer from
his Four Seasons.