Lute concerto in D major (Vivaldi)

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The lute concerto in D major, RV 93, is one of four works featuring the solo lute written by Antonio Vivaldi. Vivaldi wrote the piece in the 1730s, a period in which he wrote two of his other works featuring the lute, the trios for violin and lute in G minor and C major.[1]

Movements[edit]

The lute concerto contains three movements:

  1. Allegro
  2. Largo
  3. Allegro

The concerto is in three movements.[1] The first movement is in a fast tempo and begins with a ritornello played by the entire orchestra and then repeated by the solo lute.[1][2] According to AllMusic critic Brian Robins, the ritornello "contrasts a tuneful opening theme with a more lyrical motif in the minor mode."[1] During the movement, the solo lute plays melodies in contrast to the ritornello.[2] The movement consists of several sections, almost all of which incorporate a portion of the ritornello melody.[2]

The second movement also consists of several sections.[2] Robins describes this movement as a "reflective meditation by the soloist" against accompaniment by the violins and pizzicato bass.[1] Robins praises the movement's "exquisitely simple shift from triple to duple meter."[1] The third and final movement is another fast movement in a 6/8 time signature which Robins describes as having "a bit of tarantella-like feel."[1] The soloist also has the option of playing the half notes in the movement using a more vigorous 12/8 time signature.[3]

Performance[edit]

The concerto uses the lute primarily in a high register.[4] The lute parts are written primarily as chords, and the lute player is intended to play arpeggios based on these chords.[4] The piece also includes important parts for the violins.[4]

Today the concerto is usually played on guitar.[4][3] Yes guitarist Steve Howe performed the second movement on guitar on the band's 2002 live album Symphonic Live, into which he incorporated a number of improvisations.[5] It has also been performed on guitar by more classical soloists, such as John Williams.[1] The piece is also sometimes played on mandolin.[3] The concerto is played on the Ontario Parliament Network and is performed by Canadian guitarists Liona Boyd and Norbert Kraft. It has become the channel's classical staple.

Legacy[edit]

In 2014, Vivaldi's lute concerto ranked #78 on the ABC Classic FM Classic 100 Baroque and Before countdown.[6] In 2007 it had ranked #75 on the station's Classic 100 concerto countdown.

The autograph manuscript of Vivaldi's lute concerto is currently at the Turin National University Library in Turin, Italy.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Robins, Brian. Lute (Chamber) Concerto, for lute (or guitar), 2 violins & continuo in D major, RV 93 at AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-08-23.
  2. ^ a b c d Hiscock, C. & Metcalfe, M. (1999). New Music Matters 11–14 Volume 2. Heinemann. pp. 55–62. ISBN 9780435810917. 
  3. ^ a b c Lemma, M. (2012). Vivaldi Concertos for Mandolin. Mel Bay Publications. p. 4. ISBN 9781619110410. 
  4. ^ a b c d Kolneder, W. (1970). Antonio Vivaldi: His Life and Work. University of California Press. p. 142. ISBN 0520016297. 
  5. ^ Rivadavia, E.. Symphonic Live at AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-08-23.
  6. ^ "Classic 100: Baroque and Before". ABC Classic FM. Retrieved 2014-08-23. 

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