Sunday, January 27, 2008
The rebirth of humanism in fourteenth century Italy brought the authors of ancient Greece and Rome back into the intellectual mainstream. Among other classical authors, Theocritus (fl. 270B.C.) and Virgil (70-19B.C.), through their poetry, created an interest in Arcadia and the pastoral traditions of the Peloponnese. Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) was inspired by the possibilities suggested by these ideas to create some of his finest work. The sonnets he wrote for Le Quattro Stagioni (The Four Seasons) display this pastoral imagery.
He also created the enchanting La Pastorella RV 95 (The Shepherdess), an Arcadian work that, sans sonnets, paints a vivid pastoral tableau. The work is a baroque concerto for 3 violins, cello & continuo in D. In La Pastorella Vivaldi delivers a powerful message over the three movements of the concerto. The use of ornaments highlights the poetic idea in the first movement while the final movement includes a section in d minor and chromaticism suggesting madness, fear and terror, before the resolution and conclusion in the major key. A charming and original concerto, La Pastorella contributes to Vivaldi's legacy as a composer of immense breadth and vision.
Vivaldi in Arcadia: Concertos and Arias performed by La Serenissima. Avie CD AV0031