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FastNotes

  • Most of Vivaldi’s solo sonatas are essentially conservative in structure and texture. About 60 survive; he gathered 12 of those in 1709 as his Op. 2.
  • The second sonata of that group is a lively one long popular with virtuoso violinists. It opens with a mash-up of a dramatically florid prelude and a hard-charging capriccio. Two dances follow, separated by a brief Adagio.

Unlike his revolutionary concertos, most of Vivaldi’s solo sonatas are essentially conservative in structure and texture, reflecting the influence of Corelli. About 60 survive, and two-thirds of those are for violin and continuo (usually a sustaining bass instrument with a chord-capable instrument such as keyboard). He gathered 12 of those in 1709 as his Op. 2 and dedicated them to King Frederik IV of Denmark while the king was in Venice.

The second sonata of that group is a lively one long popular with virtuoso violinists. (The 19th-century German violinist Ferdinand David, who premiered Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, published an edition.) It opens with a mash-up of a dramatically florid prelude and a hard-charging capriccio. Two fleet, emphatically accented dances follow, separated by a brief, dark modulatory Adagio.