Antonio Vivaldi

Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in C major, RV 185, Op. 4/7 ("La stravaganza" No. 7)

    Description by Aaron Rabushka

    Antonio Vivaldi's Opus Four consists of a collection of a dozen concertos for violin, string orchestra, and basso continuo. Owing to some unusual and sometimes daring melodic and harmonic twists it carries the title La Stravaganza (The Extravaganza). The solo music includes a lot of melodic cantabile flights and also a lot of figural passagework that often rises to a virtuosic level. This concerto is the only one in the collection that is cast in four movements. The full ensemble starts off the elegant and contemplative opening Largo with a sustained introduction whose moving voices are often strongly profiled. The soloist emerges from this passage into a lyrical singing line that moves over motivic continuo pronouncements and repeated chords from the string players in the orchestra. The ensemble takes the lead again near the end and moves to an elegant and contemplative full cadence. The tutti confidently begins the subsequent Allegro with a ritornello driven by small motifs. Both solo breaks feature figurally driven solo lines, the first over a motivically driven accompaniment from the continuo, the second over discreet tutti chords. The two remaining movements feature the concerto grosso-style scoring that places a small group (concertino) of two violins and continuo in opposition to the full string ensemble (concerto grosso). The latter starts off the Largo that comes third with sustained chords, and the two violins present a calm cantilena in dialogue over their continuation. The movement ends on half-cadence that leads directly into the concluding Allegro that runs on contrasts between the concertino and the larger ensemble from start to finish. The concertino starts off with a merry dance and the movement continues with concertino passages and tutti interjections based on the same idea. The full ensemble has the last word.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Largo
    2. Allegro
    3. Largo
    4. Allegro

    Appears On

    Year Title / Performer Label / Catalog # AllMusic Rating
    2016
    Brilliant Classics
    95200BR
    2015
    Brilliant Classics
    95043BR
    2012
    Archiv Produktion
    4790135
    2011
    Newton Classics
    8802034
    2010
    Decca
    2010
    Brilliant Classics
    9198
    2010
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2009
    Avie
    2178
    2006
    Decca
    0004757693
    2004
    Brilliant
    92389
    2003
    Channel Productions
    19598
    2003
    Channel Classics
    19503
    2002
    Disques Pierre Verany
    730028
    2000
    Naxos
    553324
    1995
    London
    444821
    Brilliant
    92389/14
    Brilliant Classics
    93667/14