Antonio Vivaldi

Double Mandolin Concerto, for 2 mandolins, strings & continuo in G major, RV 532

    Description by Patsy Morita

    The exact date of composition for this thoroughly enjoyable concerto is unknown, but it is assumed that Vivaldi wrote it for the students at the Ospedale della Pietà. Given the range of notes used by him for the solo parts, the concerto was probably intended for the mandolino, a six-string, high-pitched instrument tuned in fourths, popular in Venice during Vivaldi's life. The fact that the solo parts contain no chords suggests that the instruments were to be played finger-style, that is with the fingers plucking the strings rather than a plectrum. Given the quiet sound of the mandolin, the concerto is most effective when performed with a chamber orchestra, and it also sounds well performed on guitars. The opening and closing Allegro movements are built with the same ritornello structure, ABACADA, with Vivaldi's usual construction of themes from repeating rhythmic motives. Both are light, crisp, and in a 2/4 meter, giving them an almost quickstep nature. The strings are played détaché throughout these movements, to more closely match the plucking of the mandolins. The solo parts use both echoing and parallel movement in the episodes, with trills and other ornaments thrown in to give them a little more texture. The middle Andante is perhaps the most famous movement of the concerto. It is in D minor, with the two mandolins performing throughout over just violins and violas played pizzicato and in unison. The graceful melody is built mostly of overlapping, echoing phrases with the two coming together only to intensify the emotion at certain points through the harmony of the parts. The opening section is repeated in an ornamented fashion, followed by a contrasting, more developmental section that moves through several keys before returning to home and the same ending as the opening section. Given the appeal of the two pleasant outer movements and the delicacy of the middle movement, it's easy to see why this is one of Vivaldi's most popular concertos.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Allegro
    2. Andante
    3. Allegro

    Appears On

    Year Title / Performer Label / Catalog # AllMusic Rating
    2018
    Naxos
    8504053
    2018
    EOS Guitar Edition
    EOS 2342004
    2018
    ABC Classics
    4817517
    2018
    ABC Classics
    ABC 4817518
    2017
    Dynamic
    DYNCDS 7787
    2017
    Sony Classical
    88985342182
    2016
    Sony Classical / Sony Music
    309294
    2015
    IDIS
    IDIS 6694
    2015
    ABC Classics
    ABC 4812231
    2014
    Decca
    2014
    Naxos
    8573374
    2013
    Masterworks / Sony Classical
    88697953502
    2013
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2012
    Decca / Mercury Living Presence
    001653302
    2012
    Various Artists
    ABC Classics
    4806461
    2012
    Archiv Produktion
    2012
    Archiv Produktion
    4790135
    2011
    Documents / Membran / Scandinavian Classics
    233318
    2011
    Warner Classics
    2564632642
    2011
    Warner Classics
    632646
    2011
    Decca
    2011
    Various Artists
    Decca
    2011
    Various Artists
    Decca
    4782747
    2010
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2010
    Calliope
    5273
    2010
    Naïve
    V 5243
    2010
    Hyperion
    30027
    2010
    Brilliant Classics
    93810
    2009
    Denon Records
    2009
    Biber Records / Zebralution
    2009
    X5 Music Group
    15400
    2009
    Various Artists
    Sony Classical Essential Classics
    742567
    2009
    Denon Records
    2009
    Denon Records
    2008
    Various Artists
    EMI Classics / Warner Classics
    5099951035
    2008
    ABC Classics
    4765948
    2008
    Decca
    4780192
    2008
    Various Artists
    Vox
    3022
    2008
    Virgin Classics
    504381
    2008
    Nimbus
    2515
    2007
    Decca
    4541462
    2007
    Various Artists
    Universal Classics & Jazz
    2007
    Channel Classics
    23707
    2007
    Jade
    6996312
    2007
    Decca
    4758536
    2007
    Apex
    2007
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2007
    Teldec
    4698542
    2007
    Das Alte Werk
    2007
    Novalis
    150182
    2007
    Philips
    2007
    Naïve
    30429
    2006
    Virgin Classics
    338196
    2006
    Various Artists
    Sony Music Distribution
    82876 85244-2
    2006
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2006
    BCI Music (Brentwood Communication)
    41427
    2005
    Figaro Recordings
    99276
    2005
    Various Artists
    Deutsche Grammophon
    000426802
    2005
    Vanguard Classics
    1763
    2005
    Artemis Classics
    1264
    2004
    Mercury
    000339636
    2004
    Brilliant
    92389
    2003
    Artemis Classics
    1188
    2002
    Various Artists
    Deutsche Grammophon
    472358
    2002
    Erato / Virgin
    7243545527
    2001
    Fleur De Son
    57952
    2001
    Various Artists
    Eclipse Records
    64483
    2000
    Deutsche Grammophon
    469220
    2000
    EMI Music Distribution / Virgin
    VTDCD 353
    2000
    Philips / Philips Classics
    4681462
    2000
    Hyperion
    20160
    1999
    Various Artists
    Angel Records
    67219
    1999
    BCI Music (Brentwood Communication)
    509
    1998
    Vanguard
    2006
    1998
    Various Artists
    Naxos
    8 554040
    1997
    Omega Music Poland
    2536
    1997
    Albany Music Distribution
    255
    1997
    Point Classics
    267192
    1997
    Olympia (Classical/Jazz)
    582
    1997
    Various Artists
    Philips
    456 049-2PM2
    1997
    L'Oiseau-Lyre
    455 703-2OF2
    1996
    Naxos
    553028
    1996
    Blue Plate / Virgin
    7512
    1996
    Virgin VIP
    154
    1996
    Mercury
    434369
    1996
    Archiv Produktion
    447 301-2AMA
    1996
    Disques Pierre Verany
    730052
    1995
    RCA
    68291
    1995
    Opera Tres
    1011
    1994
    Saydisc
    386
    1994
    Naxos
    550483
    1994
    Supraphon
    104126
    1994
    ESS.A.Y.
    1004
    1993
    Various Artists
    Deutsche Grammophon
    439516
    1993
    Erato
    92132
    1993
    Teldec
    91182
    1993
    MusicMasters
    67097
    1992
    EMI Music Distribution
    69143
    1991
    Philips
    426 076-2PX
    1991
    Sony Classical
    SK-46556
    1990
    Deutsche Grammophon
    429528
    1990
    In-Akustik
    76501
    1990
    Philips
    422275
    1990
    Sony Music Distribution
    35108
    1990
    Philips
    412624
    1988
    CBS Masterworks / CBS Records / Sony Classical
    MK-35873
    1986
    Philips
    412892
    1986
    Hyperion
    66160
    1984
    Erato
    45203
    Brilliant Classics
    93625/3
    Fermata
    Various Artists
    Philips
    422915
    BMG
    0902661583
    Skylark Music
    9802
    Philips Classics
    432886
    Mezhdunarodnaya-Kniga
    417114
    Musik Strasse
    2103
    Musical Heritage Society
    5266591
    Musical Heritage Society
    1410691
    Reader's Digest Music
    87016
    Omega Music Poland
    1012
    Various Artists
    Excelsior Recordings
    3013
    Various Artists
    Excelsior Recordings
    4264
    CBS Records
    45810
    Archiv Produktion
    431710
    Deutsche Grammophon
    427824
    Archiv Produktion
    415674
    Erato
    FSM Adagio
    97746
    Archiv Produktion
    471317
    Musical Heritage Society
    5179971
    Philips
    426086
    Forlane
    16548
    MHS
    11057
    Brilliant
    92389/24
    Brilliant Classics
    93667/24
    Conifer
    15909