Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) started playing the violin
in his early years. He started studying to become a
priest when he was 15 and was ordained in 1703 at the
age of 25. In September 1703 Vivaldi became a violin
teacher at an orphanage where he started writing
concertos and sacred vocal music for the oprhans. Later
on he became responsible for all the musical activity
of the institution. Around 1717 Vivaldi was offered a
new position as Maestro di Cappella (in charge of music
in a chapel) of the governor of Mantua. During this
period Vivaldi wrote his famous four violin concertos
the Four seasons.
Antonio Vivaldi's concertos cut a revolutionary swath
through the more fustian rituals of high Baroque music
in much the way that minimalism gutted academic
serialism 250 years later. They standardized the
fast-slow-fast movement scheme that has survived as the
classic concerto pattern, and developed the ritornello
form (in which a refrain for the ensemble alternates
with free episodes for the soloist), using it as a
vehicle for thematic integration and elaboration.
Vivaldi's 500-plus concertos were athletic
entertainments that swept continental Europe,
influencing not only younger composers, but causing a
wave of stylistic conversion in older ones.
Antonio Vivaldi wrote a set of sonatas, Op. 5, in 1716.
This arrangement is from the Gavotta (Allegro) movement
of the Sonata No. 2 in A Major, RV 30 à violino solo e
Basso Continuo, Opera Quinta.
Although originally written for Violin and Basso
Continuo, I arranged this piece for Viola Duet.