Classical Music | Ensemble Music

Antonio Vivaldi

Cello Sonata in B-flat Major  Play

Baroque Band Ensemble

Recorded on 05/13/2008, uploaded on 01/10/2009

Musician's or Publisher's Notes

Though he is best known for his numerous concertos for violin, Vivaldi also composed quite prolifically for the cello. Among these works are a handful of sonatas with continuo accompaniment. The Sonata in B-flat major, RV46 follows the pattern of the Baroque sonata da chiesa, or “church sonata,” which eventually developed with the influence of other forms into the modern sonata. Vivaldi’s sonata opens with a Largo movement featuring a florid melody in the solo instrument supported by a sturdy bass of reiterated eighth notes. The following Allegro movement adopts a jocular manner compared to the wistfulness of the previous movement. The melody here is lively with an abundance of syncopations while the bass remains largely in a supportive role. In the third movement, however, once again at a Largo tempo, soloist and continuo engage in contrapuntal dialogue. As a part of this contrapuntal texture, the predominantly diatonic harmonies of the previous movements are replaced with chromatically infused melodic lines. Finally, the last movement recalls the motions of the dance. In a lilting triple meter, the soloist presents a lively melody with a distinctive triplet-sixteenth rhythm that often occurs on the first beat of a measure. Rhythmically, this drives the music onward to its conclusion as the triplets become thirty-second notes.       Joseph DuBose


Cello Sonata in B-flat Major                    Antonio Vivaldi

Trio Sonata in d minor "La follia"

The Italian composer and violinist Antonio Vivaldi was born in Venice in 1678. As a composer Vivaldi was prolific, with some 500 concertos to his credit, in addition to a quantity of works for the church and for the theatre. He left Venice in 1741 in the apparent hope of finding new patrons in Vienna, where he died shortly after his arrival.

The surviving church music of Vivaldi includes the well known Gloria, in addition to a number of settings of psalms and motets.  None of the fifty odd operas of Vivaldi remain in standard repertoire. The most famous of all Vivaldi's concertos are I quattro stagioni (The Four Seasons), characteristic compositions to which the composer attached explanatory programmatic sonnets. In addition to concertos for solo violin, Vivaldi also wrote concertos for many other solo instruments, including the flute, oboe, bassoon, cello and viola d'amore, and for groups of solo instruments.

Vivaldi wrote a number of sonatas and trio sonatas, many of them designed for one or two violins and basso continuo. He also wrote a series of chamber concertos, compositions similar in approach to the solo and multiple concertos, but scored for smaller groups of instruments.      Baroque Band