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Music Antonio Vivaldi
by
Nicholas Lockey

Introduction

Antonio Vivaldi (b. 1678–d. 1741) was a prolific composer and celebrated violinist whose reputation and stylistic influence spread across Europe, particularly during the 1710s and 1720s. The son of a barber-turned-violinist, Vivaldi trained as a secular priest but spent the majority of his career in several roles, including musical performer, composer, teacher, and impresario. Vivaldi’s greatest success and influence probably came in the period 1711–1725, during which time his widely performed L’estro armonico concertos Op. 3 (published 1711) and Il cimento dell’armonia e dell’inventione concertos Op. 8 (published 1725 and containing Le quattro stagioni, “The Four Seasons”) were published and his works were being performed on operatic stages in Venice, Rome, Mantua, and elsewhere. Changing tastes, likely triggered by the success of the operas of Vinci, Hasse, Porpora, and others, combined with the relative stability of Vivaldi’s style, eventually led to declining interest in Vivaldi’s music within Venetian circles. Despite a few years at court in Mantua and travels to Rome and central European lands for operatic projects, Vivaldi was primarily based in Venice for most of his known life. The continuing interest in his music in French- and German-speaking lands during the 1730s and 1740s probably motivated his move to Vienna in 1741, but his arrival there was followed too shortly by his death for us to know whether he might have gained a more lucrative reception away from Italian lands. Recent research has found that in the decades following his death, Vivaldi’s reputation and music were not forgotten as completely as is often thought. Nevertheless, posthumous interest in Vivaldi’s life and music has tended to come in waves. In 1978, the three-hundredth anniversary of his birth saw the beginning of one such intense period of scholarship, performances, and recordings. As a result of this multistage revival, the scholarly literature is very diverse and major studies have often emerged in piecemeal fashion, only gradually countering popular misperceptions of Vivaldi’s life and works, such as the notion (inspired by a comment by Dallapiccola, echoed by Stravinsky) that his works are largely indistinguishable from one another, or the popular image of Vivaldi as the equivalent of a classroom music teacher and surrogate father-figure for orphaned schoolage girls.

Reference Works

Entries for Vivaldi in encyclopedias and general reference works tend to emphasize one particular aspect of his creative output, usually his role in the history of the solo concerto. Heller 2007 and Talbot’s 2006, provide the most rounded overviews. Selfridge-Field 1994 provides a good survey of Venetian traditions in instrumental music of the 17th and early 18th centuries, including a chapter on Vivaldi’s contributions. Selfridge-Field 2007 is a valuable resource for the performance history and chronology of Venetian operas around the time of Vivaldi. Of particular interest for an undergraduate course, Talbot 2005 provides a succinct assessment of Vivaldi’s contributions to the early history of the concerto.

  • Heller, Karl. “Vivaldi, Antonio.” In Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart: Allgemeine Enzyklopädie der Musik. 2d ed Personenteil 17. Edited by Friedrich Blume and Ludwig Finscher, 71–142. Kassel, Germany: Bärenreiter-Verlag, 2007.

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    Detailed overview of Vivaldi’s life and works, with general discussions of particular works grouped by genre and medium. Includes a nonthematic works list and a bibliography.

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  • Selfridge-Field, Eleanor. Venetian Instrumental Music from Gabrieli to Vivaldi. 3d ed. New York: Dover, 1994.

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    Useful history of Venetian tradition of instrumental music leading up to and including Vivaldi’s generation. Includes a chapter devoted to Vivaldi’s instrumental output. Many valuable illustrations, musical examples, tables, and a helpful glossary and bibliography. The revised edition includes an addenda section with corrections and additional information.

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  • Selfridge-Field, Eleanor. A New Chronology of Venetian Opera and Related Genres, 1660–1760. The Calendar of Venetian Opera. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2007.

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    Contains a wealth of statistical information and analysis on opera productions in Venice. Main body is a catalogue of opera productions, with details on first performances and brief plot summaries and information about surviving sources. Also includes catalogues of works that cannot be dated with certainty.

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  • Talbot, Michael. “The Italian Concerto in the Late Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries.” In The Cambridge Companion to the Concerto. Edited by Simon Keefe, 35–52. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

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    Provides a concise but valuable introduction to the early history of the concerto. Places Vivaldi’s contributions in the context of important Italian predecessors and contemporaries. Can serve an undergraduate course as a brief introduction to the early history of the Italian concerto.

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  • Talbot, Michael. “Vivaldi, Antonio.” Grove Music Online, 2006.

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    Gives a basic overview of Vivaldi’s life, style, influence, and musical output. Includes a nonthematic works list and a bibliography.

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Vivaldi-Specific Reference Works

Researchers, graduate students, and course instructors can benefit from consulting the small body of reference works specifically focused on Vivaldi studies. Kolneder 1984 is the best Vivaldi-specific dictionary to date. Talbot 1991 provides an extensive annotated guide to the Vivaldi literature that is still very useful, along with discussion of several of the main editions of Vivaldi’s works. Heller 1991 contains a handy overview of important dates, although much new information has since been uncovered. Kolneder 1982 is a useful single-volume collection of transcriptions and reproductions of many primary documents. Travers 1980–2000 gives an overview of recordings of Vivaldi’s music that course instructors and libraries may find useful.

  • Heller, Karl. Vivaldi: Cronologia della vita e dell’opera. Quaderni Vivaldiani 6. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 1991.

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    An updated Italian translation of the original German Antonio Vivaldi. Kalendarium zur Lebens- und Werkgeschichte (Michaelstein/Blankenburg, Germany: Kultur- und Forschungsstätte Michaelstein, 1987). Despite many subsequent discoveries, this remains the single best source for a quick overview of important dates in Vivaldi’s life and musical output.

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  • Kolneder, Walter. Antonio Vivaldi: Documents of His Life and Works. Paperbacks on Musicology 4. New York: Heinrichshofen, 1982.

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    Collection of document transcriptions and image reproductions related to Vivaldi’s life and works, with discussion. Extensive black and white images; some musical examples. Original-language citations of sources in appendix. English translation of Antonio Vivaldi: Dokumente seines Lebens und Schaffens (Wilhelmshaven, Germany: Heinrichshofen, 1979).

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  • Kolneder, Walter. Lübbes Vivaldi-Lexicon. Bergisch Gladbach, Germany: Gustav Lübbe Verlag, 1984.

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    German-language reference tool with brief entries for individual persons, subjects, terms, musical works, and other topics of interest to Vivaldi studies. Includes musical examples. Cites a broad selection of secondary literature.

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  • Talbot, Michael. Vivaldi: Fonti e letteratura critica. Translated by Luca Zoppelli. Quaderni Vivaldiani 5. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 1991.

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    Italian translation and updated version of Antonio Vivaldi: A Guide to Research (New York: Garland, 1988). The annotated list of Vivaldi-related literature is especially useful to research students and instructors planning a course syllabus. Includes general discussion of primary and secondary literature, major manuscript collections, modern editions, and important research topics.

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  • Travers, Roger-Claude. “Discographie Vivaldi.” Informazioni e Studi Vivaldiani: Bollettino dell’Istituto Italiano Antonio Vivaldi: 1–21 (1980–2000).

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    French-language catalogue and commentary on new Vivaldi-related recordings and important reissues. Useful for course planning and library collection development. Subsequent installments appear in Studi vivaldiani (see Journals).

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Catalogues

There have been several catalogues of Vivaldi’s works, but the most widely accepted, regularly cited, and up-to-date is Ryom 2007, although some details about individual manuscripts are found only in Ryom 1986. Ryom 2007 is the successor of Ryom’s original, “small edition,” the Verzeichnis der Werke Antonio Vivaldis (RV): Kleine Ausgabe (Leipzig: VEB Deutscher Verlag für Musik, 1974). Ryom’s catalogue is now updated annually in Studi Vivaldiani (see Journals). For researchers interested in the structure of individual source collections, Fragalà Data and Colturato 1987 treats the manuscripts in Turin, while Landmann 1981 covers the manuscript and early printed editions housed in Dresden.

  • Fragalà Data, Isabella, and Annarita Colturato. Biblioteca Nazionale Universitaria di Torino. Vol. 1, Raccolta Mauro Foà, Raccolta Renzo Giordano. Cataloghi di Fondi Musicali Italiani 7. Rome: Torre d’Orfeo, 1987.

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    Description and catalogue of printed and manuscript items in the Foà and Giordano music collections, arranged by call number. The quickest guide for a brief physical description of each volume and for identifying the sequence of pieces within a particular volume. Includes an index, arranged by RV number. In Italian.

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  • Landmann, Ortrun. “Katalog der Dresdener Vivaldi-Handschriften und Frühdrucke.” In Vivaldi-Studien: Referate des 3. Dresdner Vivaldi-Kolloquiums. Mit einem Katalog der Dresdner Vivaldi-Handschriften und- Frühdrucke. Edited by Wilhelm-Pieck-Universität Rostock, 101–167. Dresden, Germany: Sächsische Landesbibliothek, 1981.

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    Nonthematic catalogue of manuscripts and early printed sources for Vivaldi’s instrumental and vocal works preserved in Dresden. Arranged according to RV number.

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  • Ryom, Peter. Répertoire des œuvres d’Antonio Vivaldi. Vol. 1, Les Compositions instrumentales. Copenhagen: Engstrøm & Sødring, 1986.

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    A detailed catalogue of Vivaldi’s authenticated instrumental works, arranged according to RV number. Each entry includes thematic incipits, source descriptions, and mention of some thematic borrowings. Contains information on the physical appearance of sources that is not repeated in Ryom 2007.

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  • Ryom, Peter. Antonio Vivaldi: Thematisch-systematisches Verzeichnis seiner Werke (RV). Wiesbaden, Germany: Breitkopf & Härtel, 2007.

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    The most complete and up-to-date version of Ryom’s catalog, containing entries for vocal and instrumental works. Each entry includes thematic incipits, a basic description of sources, reference to important editions and relevant scholarly literature and listings in other works-catalogues and inventories. Further updates in Studi vivaldiani (see Journals).

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Journals

Issued annually in twenty-one volumes across the 1980s and 1990s, the journal Informazioni e Studi Vivaldiani served as one of the principal outlets for important research on Vivaldi’s biography and musical legacy as well as communicating news about important performances, recordings and modern editions. It has been succeeded by Studi vivaldiani, which focuses more on scholarly articles (although it continues to include overviews of new recordings). Both journals include an important “Miscellany” section that provides brief but valuable information that is either inappropriate for a full-length article or that is destined for more in-depth publication elsewhere. Much information that postdates the items listed in Life and Works, Catalogs, and Vivaldi-Specific Reference Works can be found only in these journals, and they are especially recommended to graduate students and researchers.

  • Informazioni e Studi Vivaldiani. Milan: Ricordi, 1980–2000.

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    Journal that contains important articles, discussions of significant performances, recordings, and publications and other special notices. Articles are in Italian, English, French, or German, with brief summaries in Italian or English. Commonly abbreviated as ISV. Continued as Studi Vivaldiani.

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  • Studi vivaldiani. Florence, Italy: SPES, 2001–.

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    Continuation of Informazioni e studi vivaldiani. In addition to peer-reviewed articles, the journal published by Studio per Edizioni Scelte (SPES) contains an annual review of recent Vivaldi-related recordings and a “Miscellany” section (in both English and Italian versions) that reports on additional research findings and noteworthy events. Commonly abbreviated as SV.

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Life and Works

Several life and works studies have emerged during the 20th century, and while they inevitably trace much of the same ground, each study emphasizes different aspects of Vivaldi’s biography and creative output. These are probably the best introductory path to Vivaldi studies and could be used in conjunction with undergraduate and graduate courses. Talbot 1993 assigns separate discussions to biography and musical works, whereas Heller 1997 adopts a more narrative approach that integrates life and works. Both items include works lists, chronologies, good bibliographies and excellent notes. Talbot adds a “personalia” appendix, whereas Heller features translations of several of Vivaldi’s letters. Pincherle 1958 is a classic study that is still valuable for discussions of many aspects of Vivaldi’s musical output that have yet to be superseded, although much of the biographical information is no longer current.

  • Heller, Karl. Antonio Vivaldi: The Red Priest of Venice. Translated by David Marinelli. Portland, OR: Amadeus, 1997.

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    Translated from the original German Antonio Vivaldi (Leipzig: Reclam-Verlag, 1991). Interleaves biographical and musical discussions. Excellent citations and clear prose. Special emphasis on Vivaldi’s activities in the realm of opera and the role of Vivaldi’s music at the Dresden court.

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  • Pincherle, Marc. Vivaldi: Genius of the Baroque. Translated by Christopher Hatch. London: Gollancz, 1958.

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    Recommended to all researchers, as it lays the groundwork for much subsequent research. Some of the discussions of the music have yet to be surpassed, despite more recent findings. English translation of French original, Vivaldi (Paris: Editions Le Bon Plaisir, 1955).

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  • Talbot, Michael. Vivaldi. 2d ed. The Master Musicians. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.

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    First half provides an account of Vivaldi’s life. Second half gives a systematic overview of aspects of Vivaldi’s musical style and a brief discussion of his output organized by genre. The revised edition includes supplemental notes and corrections and an updated bibliography.

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Biography

These items address individual aspects of Vivaldi’s life and career, primarily based on examinations of newly uncovered documentary evidence. Brizi 1986, Cataldi 1985, Gallico 1980, and Rasch 1998 are among the many studies that have looked at Vivaldi’s travels and periods of residence outside Venice in connection with individual performances, church festivals, and other engagements. Panagl 1985 focuses on documents pertaining to Vivaldi’s death in Vienna. For other biographical matters, Vio 1983 traces Vivaldi’s family tree, while Vio 1980 documents Vivaldi’s training for the priesthood. White 2000, while being concerned with the biographies of musician-wards of the Pietà, provides a significantly new perspective on the ages and skills of these important people in Vivaldi’s own biography.

  • Brizi, Bruno. “Vivaldi a Vicenza: Una festa barocca del 1713.” Informazioni e studi vivaldiani 7 (1986): 35–54.

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    Documentary investigation of Vivaldi’s activities in Vicenza, including the context for the performances of his opera Ottone in villa and oratorio La vittoria navale. Includes a transcription of an account of the church festival at which the oratorio was performed and a critical edition of the oratorio’s libretto.

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  • Cataldi, Luigi. “I rapporti di Vivaldi con il ‘Teatro detto il Comico’ di Mantova.” Informazioni e Studi Vivaldiani 6 (1985): 88–110.

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    Important documentary study of Vivaldi’s activities in Mantua, especially in connection with the Teatro Comico. Useful for matters of biography, performance practice, and the history of the business aspects of opera production. Includes transcriptions of several primary documents.

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  • Gallico, Claudio. “Vivaldi dagli archivi di Mantova.” In Vivaldi veneziano europeo: Atti del Convegno internazionale di studio svoltosi a Venezia dal 18 al 21 settembre 1978. Edited by Francesco Degrada, 77–88. Quaderni Vivaldiani 1. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 1980.

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    Documentary study of Vivaldi-related sources in the Mantuan archives, with particular emphasis on the activities of the Teatro Comico and the Nuovo Teatro Arciducale.

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  • Panagl, Carl F. “Bilddokumente zu Vivaldis Tod in Wien.” Informazioni e Studi Vivaldiani 6 (1985): 111–127.

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    Discusses and reproduces images pertaining to Vivaldi’s stay in Venice at the end of his life, including register entries that record Vivaldi’s death and burial.

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  • Rasch, Rudolf. “Some Remarks on Vivaldi’s ‘Amsterdam Concerto’ (RV 562a).” Informazioni e studi vivaldiani 19 (1998): 33–43.

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    Examines the sources and details surrounding the performance of a Vivaldi concerto in Amsterdam in 1738. Concludes that Vivaldi was not at the performance himself but may have sent a modified preexisting concerto in response to a commission.

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  • Vio, Gastone. “Antonio Vivaldi prete.” Informazioni e studi vivaldiani 1 (1980): 32–57.

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    Documentary study of Vivaldi training and career as a priest. Also includes information on two of Vivaldi’s abodes and establishes that he and his protégée Anna Girò maintained separate lodgings. In Italian.

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  • Vio, Gastone. “Antonio Vivaldi e i Vivaldi.” Informazioni e studi vivaldiani 4 (1983): 82–97.

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    Traces the history of the Vivaldi family, with particular emphasis on the close relatives of Antonio Vivaldi. Includes a family tree.

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  • White, Micky. “Biographical Notes on the Figlie di coro of the Pietà contemporary with Vivaldi.” Informazioni e studi vivaldiani 21 (2000): 75–97.

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    Annotated catalogue of biographical data for the female musicians active at the Pietà during Vivaldi’s lifetime. Organized alphabetically, each entry includes dates, instrumental and/or vocal specialty, and additional information, if available. Preceded by an excellent summary of the sources, useful explanatory remarks and a bibliography of important 18th-century literary sources.

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Patronage

Several studies have examined Vivaldi’s connections with individual patrons, often in an effort to verify claims made by Vivaldi himself (in letters and inscriptions on manuscript scores) or in other historical sources. Vitali 1995 attempts to identify the persons implied in a letter by Vivaldi, some of whom are likely to have been Vivaldi’s patrons or customers for varied lengths of time. Talbot 1981 and Talbot 1999 explore Vivaldi’s links, primarily via ambassadors, with the courts in France and Imperial Vienna.

  • Talbot, Michael. “Vivaldi and a French Ambassador.” Informazioni e studi vivaldiani 2 (1981): 31–43.

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    Examines Vivaldi’s connections with the French ambassador to Venice, whom Talbot identifies as an important, if occasional, customer for Vivaldi’s music. Includes a complete transcription (in Italian) from an account of a 1725 celebration that featured a serenata by Vivaldi. Provides much biographical information.

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  • Talbot, Michael. “Vivaldi and the Empire.” In Venetian Music in the Age of Vivaldi. Edited by Michael Talbot, 31–51. Variorum Collected Studies series 661. Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999.

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    Unites documentary information and biographical detail to examine Vivaldi’s connections to the imperial court in Vienna, primarily via ambassadors and imperial representatives in Venice but including one or more personal meetings with the emperor. Updated reprint of Informazioni e studi vivaldiani 8 (1987): 31–51.

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  • Vitali, Carlo. “I nove ‘principi di altezza’ corrispondenti di Vivaldi e la dedica enigmatica del concerto RV 574. Alla ricerca dell’indizzario perduto.” Informazioni e studi vivaldiani 16 (1995): 59–89.

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    Identifies members of a certain elevated rank of nobility with whom Vivaldi corresponded on a regular basis. Offers a possible interpretation for an inscription on the score of RV 574, along with a possible purpose and date of composition.

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Iconography

One of the more hotly contested areas of Vivaldian source studies is the issue of Vivaldi’s appearance. With only three self-proclaimed likenesses (at least one of which is probably a deliberately exaggerated caricature), several scholars have considered the claims for additional, unacknowledged representations of Vivaldi. The most famous, and controversial, image is an anonymous painting of an unidentified subject now housed in Bologna. Farges and Ducastel-Delacroix 1992 provides a detailed comparison of the Bologna portrait with the “authenticated” images by Le Cave and Ghezzi. Sardelli 1994 and Wende 1994 are responses to Farges and Ducastel-Delacroix. Sardelli 2002 presents an additional Ghezzi sketch that slightly differs from the previously known sketch by the same artist.

  • Farges, François, and Michel Ducastel-Delacroix. “Au sujet de la vrai visage de Vivaldi: Essai iconographique.” In Vivaldi: Vero e falso: Problemi di attribuzione. Edited by Antonio Fanna and Michael Talbot, 155–179. Quaderni Vivaldiani 7. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 1992.

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    Detailed study of the known iconographic depictions of Vivaldi. Studies the provenance and technical details of each image, along with close comparisons between images. Includes color plates and comparative figures.

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  • Sardelli, Federico Maria. “Ciuffi rossi ed altri dettagli. Per una riconsiderazione dell’iconografia vivaldiana.” Informazioni e studi vivaldiani 15 (1994): 103–113.

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    Rejects certain “Vivaldian” features in the anonymous Bologna painting while finding other aspects to support identifying Vivaldi as the subject of the painting. Contests the authenticity of another portrait discussed in Farges and Ducastel-Delacroix 1992. Includes black and white images.

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  • Sardelli, Federico Maria. “Un nuovo ritratto di Antonio Vivaldi.” Studi vivaldiani 2 (2002): 107–114.

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    Introduces, with commentary and black and white reproductions, a drawing of Vivaldi by Pier Leone Ghezzi found in Moscow that is derived from the already-known Ghezzi sketch. This new depiction appears more realistic and clarifies certain aspects of the better-known representation.

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  • Wende, Jutta. “Ein Porträt Don Antonio Vivaldis?” Informazioni e studi vivaldiani 15 (1994): 83–98.

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    Considers whether the representational aspects of the anonymous painting in Bologna, often considered a portrait of Vivaldi, can be used to confirm the subject’s identity. Black and white images.

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Authorship

Questions surrounding the authenticity of the many works attributed to Vivaldi in nonautograph sources have sparked some controversy over the years, owing in part to uncertainties in the chronology of his authenticated works and the degree to which other composers and arrangers imitated various aspects of his style. A central split can be discerned in the scholarship, with some scholars prioritizing stylistic indicators while others are more skeptical about the value of such criteria. Many of the writings listed here, especially Sardelli 2008, are in response to Ryom 2007 and its earlier incarnations (see Catalogs). Demoulin 1992, Sardelli 2007, Talbot 2002, and Vlaardingerbroek 2004 all focus on individual works, whereas Lescat 1992 examines a collection of works. Everett 1992 and Vlaardingerbroek 1992 address the issue of borrowings from the work of other composers.

  • Demoulin, Jean-Pierre. “Quel est l’auteur du concerto en ré mineur pour violon, RV Anh. 10?” In Vivaldi: Vero e falso: Problemi di attribuzione. Edited by Antonio Fanna and Michael Talbot, 59–66. Quaderni Vivaldiani 7. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 1992.

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    Examines evidence for and against Vivaldi’s authorship of this concerto. Concludes that Vivaldi is a possible candidate but not certainly the author. Worth consulting alongside Sardelli 2008.

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  • Everett, Paul. “Opening Il Sepolcro: Ziani, Vivaldi and a Question of Stylistic Authenticity.” In Vivaldi: Vero e falso: Problemi di attribuzione. Quaderni vivaldiani 7. Edited by Antonio Fanna and Michael Talbot, 69–89. Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 1992.

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    Study of a single passage used eight times in Vivaldi’s works that bears striking resemblences to material in a sinfonia by Marc’Antonio Ziani. Raises the deeper question of how originality and borrowing are defined and related to the idea of authenticity. Excellent citations, plates, and figures.

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  • Lescat, Philippe. “Il Pastor Fido, une œuvre de Nicolas Chédeville.” In Vivaldi: Vero e falso: Problemi di attribuzione. Quaderni vivaldiani 7. Edited by Antonio Fanna and Michael Talbot, 109–126. Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 1992.

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    Uses documentary evidence to determine that the collection of sonatas traditionally known as Vivaldi’s Op. 13 were, in fact, composed by Nicolas Chédeville using some portions of authentic Vivaldi works. Also important as a stylistic study of French and Italian elements in the sonatas.

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  • Sardelli, Federico Maria. “Da RV Anh. 76a RV 808: Un nuovo Concerto di Vivaldi.” Studi vivaldiani 7 (2007): 115–121.

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    Uses networks of thematic and motivic correspondences to argue for Vivaldi’s authorship of an anonymous work. Generous musical examples and lists of related passages demonstrate the relative frequency with which certain ideas recur in Vivaldi’s output.

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  • Sardelli, Federico Maria. “Dall’esterno all’interno: Criterî di autenticità e catalogazione di nuove fonti vivaldiane.” Studi Vivaldiani 8 (2008): 93–109.

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    Studies the variety of methods and issues involved in the process of authenticating and cataloging Vivaldi’s works. Promotes the study of recurrent musical ideas as a tool for authentication. A few recently discovered or difficult-to-attribute pieces are used as examples to demonstrate the advantages and limitations of this technique.

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  • Talbot, Michael. “Vivaldi’s Quadro? The Case of RV Anh. 66 Reconsidered.” In Italienische Instrumentalmusik des 18. Jahrhunderts: Alte und neue Protagonisten. Edited by Enrico Careri and Markus Engelhardt, 9–32. Analecta Musicologica 32. Laaber, Germany: Laaber-Verlag, 2002.

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    Uses stylistic indicators and motivic comparisons with other works to argue for Vivaldi’s authorship of this piece. Also includes an examination of a portion of Vivaldi’s chamber works in relation to the genre of the quadro. Includes musical examples.

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  • Vlaardingerbroek, Kees. “Vivaldi and Lotti: Two Unknown Borrowings in Vivaldi’s Music.” In Vivaldi: Vero e falso: Problemi di attribuzione. Quaderni Vivaldiani 7. Edited by Antonio Fanna and Michael Talbot, 91–108. Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 1992.

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    Discusses, in summary and then in detail, examples of Vivaldi’s borrowing from Lotti’s Op. 1 and the degree to which the borrowings are really adaptations. Raises deeper questions of why Vivaldi would have used borrowed material.

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  • Vlaardingerbroek, Kees. “The Violin Concerto RV 355: A Cuckoo in Vivaldi’s Nest?” Studi Vivaldiani 4 (2004): 9–24.

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    Examines the questions surrounding the disputed authorship of a particular concerto. Includes broader discussion of the value and limitations of using stylistic criteria to determine authenticity.

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Style

There are relatively few studies of specific aspects of Vivaldi’s musical style. Kolneder 1973 addresses Vivaldi’s melodic construction, while Brover-Lubovsky 2008 provides the fullest account of his harmonic practices and Grattoni 1988 examines the functions of cadenzas in Vivaldi’s instrumental works. Talbot 1999 focuses on stylistic interactions between Vivaldi’s music and Roman practices. Fertonani 1992 addresses the broader topic of musical symbolism in programme music. The issue of style periods is addressed in Sardelli 2005 (earliest works) and Talbot 2008 (latest works), both of which emphasize important further points of relevance to the other items in this section.

  • Brover-Lubovsky, Bella. Tonal Space in the Music of Antonio Vivaldi. Music and the Early Modern Imagination. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008.

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    First book-length study to attempt to focus on tonal and modal aspects in Vivaldi’s music. Aims to place Vivaldi in the context of competing theoretical trends of the early 18th century. Includes discussion of national differences in the reception of Vivaldi’s music during his lifetime.

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  • Fertonani, Cesare. Antonio Vivaldi: La simbologia musicale nei concerti a programma. Collezione L’Arte della Fuga 29. Pordenone, Italy: Edizioni Studio Tesi, 1992.

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    Focuses on the programmatic, allusive, and affective references in many of Vivaldi’s instrumental works. A preliminary discussion explores the notions of representation in early-18th-century instrumental music, with several citations from writings of the period. Includes numerous figures and musical examples.

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  • Grattoni, Maurizio. “‘Qui si ferma a piacimento’: Struttura e funzione della cadenza nei concerti di Vivaldi.” In Nuovi studi vivaldiani. Edizione e cronologia critica delle opere. Vol. 2. Edited by Antonio Fanna and Giovanni Morelli, 479–492. Quaderni Vivaldiani 4. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 1988.

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    Examines the placement and material of Vivaldi’s cadenzas, drawing attention to generic differences and the variety of situations where Vivaldi signaled or provided a cadenza. Supported with several source reproductions and musical examples.

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  • Kolneder, Walter. Melodietypen bei Vivaldi. Zurich, Switzerland: Amadeus, 1973.

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    Focuses on aspects of Vivaldi’s melodic construction, with some attention paid to other stylistic elements. Extensive musical examples.

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  • Sardelli, Federico Maria. “Le opere giovanili di Antonio Vivaldi.” Studi Vivaldiani 5 (2005): 45–79.

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    Aims to identify the body of Vivaldi’s earliest works. Uses analysis of chronologically clustered thematic borrowing to question the chronology of several works and argue for the authenticity of a few pieces with disputed attributions. Also examines Vivaldi’s relationships with several individuals sometimes proposed as his instructors in composition.

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  • Talbot, Michael. “‘Lingua romana in bocca veneziana’: Vivaldi, Corelli and the Roman School.” In Venetian Music in the Age of Vivaldi. Edited by Michael Talbot, 303–318. Variorum Collected Studies 661. Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999.

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    Argues that Corelli’s works did not necessarily have a direct influence on the “Roman” aspects in Vivaldi’s earlier music. Proposes lines of influence from an older generation of Venetian composers and more recent Roman composers. Originally printed in Studi Corelliani 4, a conference volume (Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 1990), 303–318.

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  • Talbot, Michael. “Vivaldi’s Late Style: Final Fruition or Terminal Decline?” In Vivaldi, “Motezuma” and the Opera Seria: Essays on a Newly Discovered Work and Its Background. Speculum Musicae 13. Edited by Michael Talbot, 147–168. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2008.

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    Examines Vivaldi’s works from 1725 onward to characterize the style of Vivaldi’s later works. Focuses on Vivaldi’s renewed interest in fugue, changing approach to meter, and adoption of some elements made popular by the so-called Neapolitan composers.

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Instrumentation and Performance Practice

One of the biggest challenges for modern performers of Vivaldi’s music has been uncertainty about the identity of many of the instruments specified in his scores. Hoffmann 2004, Talbot 2005, and Thomé 2009 address some of the more problematic cases. For anyone interested in matters of interpretation, ensemble size, and ornamentation, Heller 1976 and Heller 1977, Kolneder 1979, and Talbot 2007 provide excellent introductions to these issues. Sardelli 2007 focuses on Vivaldi’s music for flute and recorder, across all genres, and is as much a study of repertoire, sources, and chronology as it is a discussion of instrumentation (including the debate over the identity of the flautino) and performance practice.

  • Heller, Karl. “Zu einigen Aspekten der solistischen Improvisation im Instrumentalkonzert des frühen 18. Jahrhunderts.” In Zu Fragen des Instrumentariums, der Besetzung und der Improvisation in der ersten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts: Konferenzbericht der 3. Wissenschaftlichen Arbeitstagung Blankenburg/Harz, 28–29. Juni 1975. Vol. 2. Edited by Eitelfriedrich Thom and Renate Bormann, 80–87. Studien zur Aufführungspraxis und Interpretation von Instrumentalmusik des 18. Jahrhunderts 2. Magdeburg, Germany: Rat des Bezirks, 1976.

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    Uses some of Johann Georg Pisendel’s annotations in the Dresden sources of Vivaldi’s works as a means to examine ornamentation in fast movements. Includes brief but insightful illustrations and transcriptions.

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  • Heller, Karl. “Tendenzen der Tempo-Differenzierung im Orchestra-allegro Vivaldis.” In Die Blasinstrumente und ihre Vervendung sowie zu Fragen des Tempos in der ersten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts: Konferenzbericht der 4. Wissenschaftlichen Arbeitstagung Blankenburg/Harz, 26–27. Juni 1976. Edited by Eitelfriedrich Thom, 79–84. Studien zur Aufführungspraxis und Interpretation von Instrumentalmusik des 18. Jahrhunderts 4.2. Blankenburg: Rat des Bezirks, 1977.

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    Focuses on differences between the interpretation of the Allegro tempo marking in Vivaldi’s earlier and later repertoire, suggesting greater variety in the later works.

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  • Hoffmann, Bettina. “Il violoncello all’inglese.” Studi vivaldiani 4 (2004): 43–52.

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    Italian-language investigation into the identity of the violoncello all’inglese specified in the score of Vivaldi’s concerto RV 546. Proposes a distinction from the viola inglese and offers a possible description of the instrument based on surviving repertoire. Includes images and analysis of technical demands found in musical examples.

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  • Kolneder, Walter. Performance Practices in Vivaldi. Translated by Anne de Dadelsen. Winterthur, Switzerland: Amadeus, 1979.

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    English translation of Aufführungspraxis bei Vivaldi (Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel,1955). Detailed study of performance issues in Vivaldi’s music, including tempo, dynamics, articulation, ornamentation, and instrumentation. Especially useful for presenting the range of markings found in Vivaldi’s sources.

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  • Sardelli, Federico Maria. Vivaldi’s Music for Flute and Recorder. Translated by Michael Talbot. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2007.

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    Multifaceted study of Vivaldi’s output for various types of flutes and recorders. Preceded by discussions of performers and instrument-makers active in Venice during Vivaldi’s lifetime. Includes much information on the chronology, authenticity, and technical demands of most works. Translation of La musica per flauto di Antonio Vivaldi (Florence: L. S. Olschki, 2001).

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  • Talbot, Michael. “Vivaldi and the ‘Violino in tromba marina’.” Consort 61 (2005): 5–17.

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    Focuses on Vivaldi’s use of this unusual instrument. Includes a description of the instrument, study of Vivaldi’s works for it (including chronological and notational aspects of the sources and the technical demands he placed on it), hypotheses about the identity of the original performers, and suggestions for modern performance.

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  • Talbot, Michael. “‘Full of Graces’: Anna Maria Receives Ornaments from the Hands of Antonio Vivaldi.” In Arcangelo Corelli fra mito e realtà storica: Nuove prospettive d’indagine musicologica e interdisciplinare nel 350o anniversario della nascita: Atti del congresso internazionale di studi, Fusignano, 11–14 settembre, 2003. Vol. 1. Edited by Gregory Barnett, Antonella D’Ovidio, and Stefano La Via, 253–266. Historiae Musicae Cultores 111. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 2007.

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    Focuses on the written-out ornamentation in a version of the slow movement of the concerto RV 581 that Vivaldi prepared for Anna Maria and relates it to a tradition of similar ornamentation familiar from Corelli’s sonatas. Includes musical examples.

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  • Thomé, Gilles. “Les ‘Claren,’ ‘Clarini’ et ‘Clarinet’ dans les œuvres de Vivaldi.” Paper presented at a conference held in Venice on 13–16 June 2007. In Antonio Vivaldi: Passato e futuro. Edited by Francesco Fanna and Michael Talbot, 381–393. Venice: Fondazione Giorgio Cini, 2009.

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    Discusses the history of the chalumeau and clarinet around the time of Vivaldi and their role in his music. Proposes options for modern performers. Includes a list of known instrument-makers of the period.

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Musical Sources

One of the most active areas in Vivaldi-related scholarship of the last thirty years has been the study of the sources of his music, especially in search of clues to the authorship and chronology of individual works. Many of the more general source studies also highlight particular items and provide useful information on the provenance and dating of individual works. Ryom 1977 is the fundamental study of Vivaldi’s sources, although some of his criteria for determining authenticity have been challenged by other writers (see Authorship). Paul Everett’s valuable research is spread across numerous articles and private communications cited in writings by other scholars. Everett 1988 outlines some of the physical aspects of the sources that can be used to establish a chronology of Vivaldi’s works, while Everett 1990b correlates some of these factors with special markings found in some of Vivaldi’s autograph scores. Pancino 1992 examines Vivaldi’s handwriting, while Everett 1990a treats the handwriting of the copyists who produced some of the sources found in Turin.

  • Everett, Paul. “Towards a Vivaldi Chronology.” In Nuovi studi vivaldiani. Edizione e cronologia critica delle opere. Edited by Antonio Fanna and Giovanni Morelli, 729–757. Quaderni Vivaldiani 4. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 1988.

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    A useful introduction to Everett’s methods for dating the manuscripts of Vivaldi’s music in Turin. Discusses the value of different types of evidence (paper-type, rastrography, etc.) and gives specific examples of sources that can be dated according to this evidence, although some conclusions have since been modified by subsequent findings.

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  • Everett, Paul. “Vivaldi’s Italian Copyists.” Informazioni e Studi Vivaldiani 11 (1990a): 27–86.

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    Study of scribal hands found in nonautograph and partial-autograph sources of Vivaldi’s works now held in Turin. Includes a now-standard catalogue of the scribes of these manuscripts, an overview of their individual contributions, reproductions of documents produced by the principal scribes, and discussion of the collaborative processes they sometimes employed.

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  • Everett, Paul. “Vivaldi’s Marginal Markings: Clues to Sets of Instrumental Works and Their Chronology.” In,Musicology in Ireland. Edited by Gerard Gillen and Harry White, 248–263. Irish Musicological Studies 1. Dublin, Ireland: Irish Academic Press, 1990b.

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    Uses annotations in the Turin scores of Vivaldi’s works to identify works that may have once been placed into groups, perhaps in response to particular commissions. Suggests possible chronological connections. Includes tables of works with numbers, letters, and special signs.

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  • Pancino, Livia. “Le caratteristiche grafiche della mano di Vivaldi secondo il metodo grafologico.” Informazioni e studi vivaldiani 13 (1992): 67–95.

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    Detailed study of the mechanical and artistic aspects of Vivaldi’s handwriting. Finds that individual elements tended to fluctuate and can only provide a general guide for establishing the authenticity of a document. Numerous black-and-white images.

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  • Ryom, Peter. Les Manuscrits de Vivaldi. Copenhagen: Antonio Vivaldi Archives, 1977.

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    Remains the principal study of Vivaldi’s manuscripts, including his notational habits and manner of physically assembling and altering scores. Introduces key terms that are frequently cited in later studies. Highlights several particularly problematic manuscripts.

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Individual Source Collections

These items focus on a particular manuscript collection or group of sources. In the absence of a complete critical edition of Vivaldi’s works, researchers and performers will find these items particularly valuable, especially those that include transcriptions of important variant readings and identification of principal scribes. Heller 1971 gives an account of the collections in German libraries, with additional information provided by Fechner 1988. Seifert 2009 deals with an important collection in Vienna, while Everett 1989 is a lengthy study of manuscripts now held in Manchester, UK. Talbot 1982 is the first of several articles to examine materials formerly belonging to the Pietà, while Tanenbaum Tiedge and Talbot 2003 draws attention to a significant collection of vocal music. Rasch 1996 differs by addressing Vivaldi’s ties to his Amsterdam publishers and presents much important information on the chronology of early printed editions. Additional resources include Fragalà Data and Colturato 1987 (for the Foà and Giordano collections in Turin) (see Catalogues) and Landmann 1981 (for the collection in Dresden) (see Catalogs).

  • Everett, Paul. The Manchester Concerto Partbooks. 2 vols. Outstanding Dissertations in Music from British Universities. New York and London: Garland, 1989.

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    In-depth look at a collection of manuscripts preserved in Manchester. The first volume traces the history of the items and uses paper analysis and rastrology to identify the provenance and chronology of the materials. The second volume contains a complete inventory of the manuscripts’ contents, watermarks, and other source indications.

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  • Fechner, Manfred. “Bermerkungen zu einigen Dresdner Vivaldi-Manuskripten: Fragen der Vivaldi-Pflege unter Pisendel, zur Datierung und Schreiberproblematik.” In Nuovi studi vivaldiani: Edizione e cronologia critica delle opere. Vol. 2. Edited by Antonio Fanna and Giovanni Morelli, 775–784. Quaderni Vivaldiani 4. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 1988.

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    A re-examination of scribal identifications in the Dresden Vivaldi manuscripts proposed by Heller 1971 and others. Finds that manuscripts by “Schreiber D” demonstrate at least eight chronological states of appearance, illustrated by black and white plates.

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  • Heller, Karl. Die deutsche Überlieferung der Instrumentalwerke Vivaldis. Beiträge zur musikwissenschaftlichen Forschung in der DDR 2. Leipzig: Deutscher Verlag für Musik, 1971.

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    Studies the sources of Vivaldi’s instrumental works that are preserved in German libraries. The first part focuses on the Dresden manuscripts. The second part includes a detailed catalogue of the sources. The third part addresses the sources held in other German libraries.

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  • Rasch, Rudolf. “La famoso mano di Monsieur Roger: Antonio Vivaldi and His Dutch Publishers.” Informazioni e Studi Vivaldiani 17 (1996): 89–136.

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    Systematic study of Dutch publications of Vivaldi’s music during his lifetime. Proposes revisions to the previously accepted chronology of several of Vivaldi’s major publications. Also places Vivaldi’s published output within the broader context of the Dutch publication of Italian instrumental music.

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  • Seifert, Herbert. “Vivaldi in the ‘Este’ Music Collection of the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna.” Paper presented at a conference held in Venice on 13–16 June 2007. In Antonio Vivaldi. Passato e futuro. Edited by Francesco Fanna and Michael Talbot, 179–191. Venice: Fondazione Giorgio Cini, 2009.

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    Investigates the provenance of the Estensische Musikalien of the Austrian National Library, which includes printed and manuscript works by Vivaldi and other (primarily Italian) composers. Includes helpful tables and illustrations. International conference, 13–16 June 2007, in Venice to celebrate Venetian musicians and composers. [See note on Thomé 2009 under “Instrumentation”]

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  • Talbot, Michael. “A Vivaldi Discovery at the Conservatorio ‘Benedetto Marcello.’” Informazioni e Studi Vivaldiani 3 (1982): 3–12.

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    Details the discovery of several Vivaldi works, some partbooks formerly belonging to the Ospedale della Pietà, consisting of vocal and instrumental works copied in 1739. Includes thematic incipits for newly uncovered works. The first of three related articles published in the same journal.

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  • Tanenbaum Tiedge, Faun, and Michael Talbot. “The Berkeley Castle Manuscript: Arias and Cantatas by Vivaldi and His Italian Contemporaries.” Studi Vivaldiani 3 (2003): 33–87.

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    Detailed catalogue and discussion of a manuscript collection of vocal works, with special emphasis on contents by Vivaldi and his known associates. Many helpful indices, tables, images, and musical examples.

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Specific Genres and Forms

Numerous writings have been devoted to specific genres and forms within Vivaldi’s musical output. For a long time, the majority of writings were concerned with Vivaldi’s concertos and his treatment of ritornello form, but the last thirty years have seen a broad expansion of interests to include a wider range of forms and studies of virtually every genre in Vivaldi’s output. For many readers, the items under this heading will be valuable resources, especially for works that have not yet been the subject of a single-work study (see Individual Works).

Forms and Character Types

The majority of studies of Vivaldi’s use of form (including portions of many other writings listed elsewhere in this bibliography) discuss his treatment of ritornello form. McVeigh and Hirschberg 2004 is one of the most recent accounts and includes extensive citations of other writings on the subject. Heller 2009 addresses the solo episodes of Vivaldi’s later works. Other forms are treated in Kan 2002, Lockey 2006, and Talbot 2009. Lockey 2009 deals with a particular character-type that cuts across formal and generic distinctions.

  • Heller, Karl. “Zur Sologestaltung in späten Violinkonzerten Vivaldis: Phrasenbildung, Motivarbeit, Stellung der Soloteilen im Satzganzen.” Paper presented at a conference held in Venice on 13–16 June 2007. In Antonio Vivaldi. Passato e futuro. Edited by Francesco Fanna and Michael Talbot, 73–88. Venice: Fondazione Giorgio Cini, 2009.

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    Examines the motivic construction of the solo episodes in Vivaldi’s concertos from the late 1720s and early 1730s, with special emphasis on Vivaldi’s approach to ritornello form in these works. Includes numerous musical examples.

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  • Kan, Rebecca. “The Concerto Adagios of Antonio Vivaldi.” Ph.D. diss., University of Liverpool, 2002.

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    Focuses on a particular type of slow movement in Vivaldi’s concertos and discusses how it can be understood as evolving from trends outside of ritornello form. Special emphasis is given to slow movements in Vivaldi’s earlier works and his role in the history of the “singing” Adagio. Many musical examples.

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  • Lockey, Nicholas. “Formal Structure in Vivaldi’s Variation Sets.” Studi Vivaldiani 6 (2006): 53–75.

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    Discusses the thematic and structural characteristics of Vivaldi’s variations sets. Includes a catalogue of the variation sets and an overview of their chronology.

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  • Lockey, Nicholas. “Vivaldi and the Siciliana: Towards a Critical Appraisal.” Paper presented at a conference held in Venice on 13–16 June 2007. In Antonio Vivaldi: Passato e futuro. Edited by Francesco Fanna and Michael Talbot, 141–160. Venice: Fondazione Giorgio Cini, 2009.

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    Presents a discussion of the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic properties of Vivaldi’s siciliana movements. Includes a catalogue of Vivaldi’s sicilianas, a chronological overview, and numerous musical examples.

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  • McVeigh, Simon, and Jehoash Hirshberg. The Italian Solo Concerto, 1700–1760: Rhetorical Strategies and Style History. Rochester, NY: Boydell, 2004.

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    Primarily concerned with the formation and subversion of formal models, Vivaldi forms a significant part of this study, primarily through his use of ritornello forms. Numerous musical examples and tables. Bibliography includes many further writings on Vivaldi and ritornello form.

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  • Talbot, Michael. Vivaldi and Fugue. Quaderni Vivaldiani 15. Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 2009.

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    Study of Vivaldi’s use of fugal and imitative devices. Proposes a new understanding and valuation of the role of fugal devices within Vivaldi’s preferred idioms. Moves from general observations to specific works. Contains an important section on the place of fugue in Vivaldi’s reception history.

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Instrumental Genres

For an informative account of all of Vivaldi’s instrumental works, see Fertonani 1998, which has an especially good treatment of the trio sonatas. Some of the most in-depth studies of individual instrumental genres in Vivaldi’s œuvre are those concerned with defining a particular genre, such as Ammetto 2009 and Heller 1983. Much useful information can also be found in studies that are primarily concerned with authenticity or chronology, such as Everett 1989 (for oboe and bassoon concertos) and Selfridge-Field 1992 (cello sonatas).

  • Ammetto, Fabrizio. “I concerti di Vivaldi ‘con’ (o ‘per’?) due violini ‘obligati’ (o ‘principali’?).” Paper presented at a conference held in Venice on 13–16 June 2007. In Antonio Vivaldi. Passato e futuro. Edited by Francesco Fanna and Michael Talbot, 59–72. Venice: Fondazione Giorgio Cini, 2009.

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    Uses source comparisons to demonstrate a chronological shift in Vivaldi’s conception of the double concerto with two solo violins. Also reveals how copyists and editors often emended materials to retain concerto grosso implications after Vivaldi’s conception had changed. Includes many source reproductions.

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  • Everett, Paul. “Vivaldi’s Paraphrased Oboe Concertos of the 1730s.” Chigiana n.s.41. 21 (1989): 197–216.

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    Examines four oboe concertos that are closely related to four bassoon concertos (and other works). Uses source studies and musical comparisons to suggest which versions came first. Valuable for providing information on sources, chronology, and the similarities and differences between Vivaldi’s oboe and bassoon concertos.

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  • Fertonani, Cesare, La musica strumentale di Antonio Vivaldi. Quaderni Vivaldiani 9. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 1998.

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    Extensive study of Vivaldi’s sonatas, concertos, and sinfonias, with particular emphasis on the sonatas, chamber concertos, concertos for multiple soloists, and concertos published during Vivaldi’s lifetime.

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  • Heller, Karl. “Über die Beziehung zwischen einigen Concerto- und Sinfonia-Sätzen Vivaldis.” Informazioni e Studi Vivaldiani 4 (1983): 41–60.

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    Compares and contrasts three violin concertos and three sinfonias to identify specific and general distinctions in genre between Vivaldi’s concertos and sinfonias. Particular emphasis on form and motivic construction. Includes several musical examples.

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  • Selfridge-Field, Eleanor. “Vivaldi’s Cello Sonatas.” In Vivaldi: Vero e falso: Problemi di attribuzione. Quaderni Vivaldiani 7. Edited by Antonio Fanna and Michael Talbot, 127–148. Quaderni Vivaldiani 7. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 1992.

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    Examines the sources and musical style of the cello sonatas attributed to Vivaldi. Numerous musical examples illustrate the challenge of using stylistic factors alone to determine authenticity.

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Operas

Interest in Vivaldi’s operas has grown tremendously in the last thirty years. The most valuable resource for performers, researchers, and students is Strohm 2008; Bellina, et al. 1982 contains important information on the sources of the printed librettos. Glixon and White 2008 include information on Vivaldi’s earliest operatic activities that was uncovered after Strohm 2008 was published. Cross 1981 focuses on Vivaldi’s later operas, especially Griselda (1735), while Brizi 1980 is one of several studies of Vivaldi’s settings of the operas of a particular librettist. Collins 1988 and Strohm 2009 examine broader issues across Vivaldi’s career as an opera composer and impresario.

  • Bellina, Anna Laura, Bruno Brizi, and Mariza Grazia Pensa. I libretti vivaldiani. Recensione e collazione dei testimoni a stampa. Quaderni Vivaldiani 3. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 1982.

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    Helpful guide to the surviving exemplars of Vivaldi’s opera librettos, arranged alphabetically. Also includes a list of arias (alphabetical by first line) and reproductions of title pages.

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  • Brizi, Bruno. “Domenico Lalli librettista di Vivaldi?” In Vivaldi veneziano europeo: Atti del Convegno internazionale di studio svoltosi a Venezia dal 18 al 21 settembre 1978. Edited by Francesco Degrada, 183–204. Quaderni Vivaldiani 1. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 1980.

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    Study of the life and career of Domenico Lalli, particularly his involvement in opera. Special emphasis on the five Lalli libretti set by Vivaldi. The conference was entitled “Vivaldi veneziano europeo: Convegno internazionale di studio svoltosi a Venezia dal 18 al 21 settembre 1978.”

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  • Collins, Michael. “L’Orchestra nelle Opere Teatrali di Vivaldi.” In Nuovi studi vivaldiani: Edizione e cronologia critica delle opere. Edited by Antonio Fanna and Giovanni Morelli, 285–312. Quaderni Vivaldiani 4. Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 1988.

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    Studies the relationship between instruments and voices, the degree of contrapuntal density within the orchestral writing, and the variety of scoring combinations used during the course of an entire opera. Many tables and comparisons with other operas, especially those by Handel and Alessandro Scarlatti.

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  • Cross, Eric. The Late Operas of Antonio Vivaldi, 1727–1738. 2 vols. Studies in British Musicology. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Research Press, 1981.

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    Study of Vivaldi’s later operas, with special emphasis on Griselda. Published version of a doctoral dissertation. Emphasis is primarily on musical content. Volume 2 contains extensive musical examples and a thematic catalogue.

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  • Glixon, Beth, and Micky White. “Creso tolto a le fiamme: Girolamo Polani, Antonio Vivaldi and Opera Production at the Teatro S. Angelo, 1705–1706.” Studi Vivaldiani 8 (2008): 3–20.

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    Uses several key documents to investigate Vivaldi’s involvement with the Teatro S. Angelo nine years earlier than previously known. Includes translations from documentary sources, a table of operas produced at the Teatro S. Angelo during the decade leading up to 1705–1706 and extensive citations.

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  • Strohm, Reinhard. The Operas of Antonio Vivaldi. 2 vols. Quaderni Vivaldiani 13. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 2008.

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    After a general discussion of the tradition of opera seria in Vivaldi’s day and in modern reception, this item provides an account of each opera with which Vivaldi is believed to have been associated. Includes numerous musical examples and helpful tables of the sources, structure, and chronology of each opera.

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  • Strohm, Reinhard. “From She-Devil to Recalcitrant Mother: Women and the ‘Male Gaze’ in Vivaldi’s Operas.” Paper presented at a conference held in Venice on 13–16 June 2007. In Antonio Vivaldi: Passato e futuro. Edited by Francesco Fanna and Michael Talbot, 461–479. Venice: Fondazione Giorgio Cini, 2009.

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    Traces the portrayal of women throughout Vivaldi’s operatic career, proposing a shift in approach during the 1720s. Examines the significance of Anna Girò in this context, while remaining open to other influences. Includes an appendix discussing mother-figure roles in opera seria.

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Other Vocal Genres

Vivaldi’s non-operatic vocal genres have been the subject of fewer scholarly studies than his operas. Among the most substantial studies, containing valuable information for scholars and performers, are Talbot 1995 for sacred music, Talbot 2006 for secular cantatas, and Talbot 1982 for the serenatas.

  • Talbot, Michael. “Vivaldi’s Serenatas: Long Cantatas or Short Operas?” In Antonio Vivaldi: Teatro musicale, culturà e società. Edited by Lorenzo Bianconi and Giovanni Morelli, 67–96. Quaderni Vivaldiani 2. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 1982.

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    Overview of Vivaldi’s serenatas, with special emphasis on clues to the circumstances of their first performance. Also contains discussion of the concept of the serenata as a genre, with citations from dictionary references to “serenata” and its derivatives.

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  • Talbot, Michael. The Sacred Vocal Music of Antonio Vivaldi. Quaderni Vivaldiani 8. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 1995.

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    The first chapters address Vivaldi’s career as a composer of sacred music and the sources and liturgical content of this repertoire. The later chapters contain a general overview of stylistic features and a discussion of works, grouped by liturgical function, scoring, or size. Much background information and chronological data.

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  • Talbot, Michael. The Chamber Cantatas of Antonio Vivaldi. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press, 2006.

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    Focuses on Vivaldi’s cantatas, with much useful contextual information. Provides helpful information on the chronology and authenticity of each work, along with commentary on the texts and music.

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Individual Works

Until recently, articles and book-length studies of individual works have been few and far between. The growing interest in Vivaldi’s operas has led to a number of articles devoted to particular operas, and similar writings have appeared for some of the sacred vocal works. By contrast, studies of individual instrumental works have remained rare.

Vocal

The majority of the studies of individual vocal works are concerned with Vivaldi’s operas. Degrada 1980, Delaméa 2001, Muraro and Povoledo 1980, and Strohm 2008 each address a single Vivaldi opera, including issues such as dramatic conception and performance history. Bucciarelli 2008 examines one opera through techniques developed by feminist studies. Cameron 2003 and Selfridge-Field 1980 deal with individual sacred works.

  • Bucciarelli, Melania. “Taming the Exotic: Vivaldi’s Armida al campo d’Egitto.” In Vivaldi, “Motezuma” and the Opera Seria: Essays on a Newly Discovered Work and Its Background. Edited by Michael Talbot, 81–102. Speculum Musicae 13. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2008.

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    Uses approaches informed by feminist studies to examine the treatment of exotic elements in this Vivaldi opera. Includes background on the history of Armida settings in Venetian opera from 1639 to 1720.

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  • Cameron, Jasmin. “Vivaldi’s Crucifixus in Its Descriptive and Rhetorical Context.” Studi Vivaldiani 3 (2003): 133–153.

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    Examines the role of depictive and narrative conventions in the Crucifixus section of Vivaldi’s setting of the Credo, RV 591. Includes general points and discussions of specific passages in the piece.

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  • Cross, Eric. “Vivaldi and the Pasticcio: Text and Music in Tamerlano.” In “Con che soavità”: Studies in Italian Opera, Song, and Dance, 1580–1740. Edited by Iain Fenlon and Tim Carter, 275–311. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995.

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    Studies the relationship between Vivaldi’s setting and earlier versions by Gasparini and Handel. Special emphasis is given to musical alterations found in arias adapted from other operas by Vivaldi as well as from operas by other composers. Includes charts highlighting the structure of each setting of the libretto.

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  • Degrada, Francesco. “Vivaldi e Metastasio: Note in margine a una lettura dell’Olimpiade.” In Vivaldi veneziano europeo: Atti del Convegno internazionale di studio svoltosi a Venezia dal 18 al 21 settembre 1978. Edited by Francesco Degrada, 155–181. Quaderni Vivaldiani 1. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 1980.

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    Uses textual criticism to explore the dramatic implications of Vivaldi’s emendations to the text of Metastasio’s libretto for this opera. Posits that these changes brought the opera more in line with Vivaldi’s dramatic conception of the plot. The conference was entitled “Vivaldi veneziano europeo: Convegno internazionale di studio svoltosi a Venezia dal 18 al 21 settembre 1978.”

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  • Delaméa, Frédéric. “La Silvia, RV 734: Ombres et lumière sur l’opéra milanais de Vivaldi.” Studi Vivaldiani 1 (2001): 27–117.

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    In-depth study of Vivaldi’s 1721 opera for Milan. Commences with a study of the biographical aspects of the work’s genesis and reception and continues with an examination of the surviving source material. Extensive citations, comparisons of literary texts, and detailed discussions of individual numbers.

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  • Muraro, Maria Teresa, and Teresa Povoledo. “Le scene della Fida ninfa: Maffei, Vivaldi e Francesco Bibiena.” In Vivaldi veneziano europeo: Atti del Convegno internazionale di studio svoltosi a Venezia dal 18 al 21 settembre 1978. Edited by Francesco Degrada, 235–253. Quaderni Vivaldiani 1. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 1980.

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    Careful study of the scenic design of the first production of this Vivaldi opera. Includes numerous black and white images of set designs and tables of scenes used in several operas at the Teatro Filarmonico in Verona from 1729 to 1737. The conference was entitled “Vivaldi veneziano europeo: Convegno internazionale di studio svoltosi a Venezia dal 18 al 21 settembre 1978.”

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  • Selfridge-Field, Eleanor. “Juditha in Historical Perspective. Scarlatti, Gasparini, Marcello and Vivaldi.” In Vivaldi veneziano europeo: Atti del Convegno internazionale di studio svoltosi a Venezia dal 18 al 21 settembre 1978. Edited by Francesco Degrada, 135–153. Quaderni Vivaldiani 1. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 1980.

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    Places Vivaldi’s only oratorio with surviving music in the context of Venetian oratorios of the period. Features a comparison of several settings of the Judith story and includes insightful observations about schematic tonal-planning in one segment of Vivaldi’s oratorio. The conference was entitled “Vivaldi veneziano europeo: Convegno internazionale di studio svoltosi a Venezia dal 18 al 21 settembre 1978.”

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  • Strohm, Reinhard. “Argippo in ‘Germania.’” Studi Vivaldiani 8 (2008): 111–127.

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    Examines a newly uncovered libretto for a production of Argippo in Vienna in 1730 that may have involved Vivaldi’s participation. Includes a comparison of the Prague and Vienna librettos, alongside the arias that survive. Ends with a discussion of other performances and versions possibly related to the Prague production.

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Instrumental

Except for “The Four Seasons” (Le quattro stagioni), relatively few instrumental works have been the subject of articles or book-length studies, although many individual works are treated in the context of broader discussions (see Specific Genres and Forms). Everett 1996 provides a multifaceted account of the entire Op. 8 collection, treating the concertos as both a semi-unified collection and as individual works. Ricci 2002 and Talbot 1999 discuss two of Vivaldi’s more unusual allusive concertos. Cassignol and Napolitano-Dardenne 1999 treats a concerto that underwent a change, during the compositional process, from a concerto for flautino to a concerto for violin.

  • Cassignol, Jean, and Anne Napolitano-Dardenne. “Le Concerto RV 312 est-il le quatrième ‘Conto P Flautino Del Viualdi’?” Informazioni e Studi Vivaldiani 20 (1999): 83–110.

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    Demonstrates, through examination of source details and musical analysis, that Vivaldi composed most of the first movement of this concerto as a work for sopranino recorder before deciding to convert the entire work to a violin concerto. Numerous musical examples and reproductions of the autograph score.

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  • Everett, Paul. “The Four Seasons” and Other Concertos, Op. 8. Cambridge Music Handbooks. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

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    Multifaceted study of the Op. 8 collection, including source analysis, chronological issues, analysis of musical form, harmonic analysis, and discussion of musical symbolism and narrative. Useful to students, teachers, and performers interested in a variety of perspectives on these famous concertos.

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  • Ricci, Fabio. Il “Concerto funebre” di Antonio Vivaldi: Contributi storici e interpretazione stilistica. Quaderni di Esercizi, Musica e Spettacolo 10. Perugia, Italy: Morlacchi, 2002.

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    Primarily concerned with technical analysis of the instrumentation, melodic construction, and harmonic vocabulary of this concerto. Hypothesizes about the motivation for the composition of this piece and concludes with commentary on the movements that Vivaldi also used in other works. Includes many tables and some musical examples.

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  • Talbot, Michael. “Vivaldi’s Conch Concerto.” In Venetian Music in the Age of Vivaldi. Edited by Michael Talbot, 66–82. Variorum 661. Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999.

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    Studies the concerto in B-flat RV 163 and its allusions to the sound of the conch shell. Compares the autograph score and questionable interpretations in the principal modern edition of the work. Updated reprint of Informazioni e studi vivaldiani 5 (1984): 66–82.

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Reception History

The oldest strand of research into the reception of Vivaldi’s music concerns his influence on the music of J. S. Bach. Ahnsehl 1981, Anderson 1980, and Eller 1980 provide excellent introductions to this topic. Vlaardingerbroek 1997 looks at Vivaldi’s influence on some of his contemporary French composers. Heller 1988 studies references to Vivaldi in 19th-century accounts of musical history. Moving to the 20th century, Delaméa 1998 and Travers 1980 are among the many writings that treat the modern “revival” of interest in Vivaldi’s life and works. The often brief but illuminating references to Vivaldi by his contemporaries (such as Avison, Goldoni, and Quantz) are well represented in life and works studies and most bibliographies (see Vivaldi-Specific Reference Works and Life and Works).

  • Ahnsehl, Peter. “Bemerkungen zur Rezeption der vivaldischen Konzertform durch die mittel- und norddeutschen Komponisten im Umkreis Bachs.” In Vivaldi-Studien: Referate des 3. Dresdner Vivaldi-Kolloquiums. Mit einem Katalog der Dresdner Vivaldi-Handschriften und -Frühdrucke. Edited by Wilhelm-Pieck-Universität Rostock, 59–72. Dresden, Germany: Sächsische Landesbibliothek, 1981.

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    Re-evaluates the influence of Vivaldi and Corelli on the concerto output of composers in northern and central Germany. Ties the Germanic blend of Vivaldian formal elements and reduced emphasis on virtuosic display to societal differences between Venice and the German states.

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  • Anderson, Nicholas. “The Italian Influence on Bach’s Vocal Music.” In Vivaldi veneziano europeo: Atti del Convegno internazionale di studio svoltosi a Venezia dal 18 al 21 settembre 1978. Edited by Francesco Degrada, 123–133. Quaderni Vivaldiani 1. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 1980.

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    A study of the relationship between Italian vocal music and Bach’s sacred output, with special emphasis on comparisons of Vivaldi’s Laudate pueri RV 601 and passages from several Bach cantatas. The conference was entitled “Vivaldi veneziano europeo: Convegno internazionale di studio svoltosi a Venezia dal 18 al 21 settembre 1978.”

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  • Delaméa, Frédéric. “Les opéras de Vivaldi au XXe siècle: La poursuite de l’exhumation (1987–1996).” Paper presented at a conference held at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, 21–23 February 1997. In Cinquant’anni di produzioni e consumi della musica dell’età di Vivaldi, 1947–1997. Edited by Francesco Fanna and Michael Talbot, 129–201. Quaderni Vivaldiani 10. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 1998.

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    One of several writings by the same author and others that catalogues 20th- and 21st-century performances of Vivaldi’s operas. Focuses on productions from 1987 to 1996. Includes a discussion of general trends, such as choices of instrumentation, ensemble size, voice types, set designs, score editions, etc. Proceedings of a conference held at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, February 21–23, 1997.

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  • Eller, Rudolf. “Vivaldi and Bach.” In Vivaldi veneziano europeo. Edited by Francesco Degrada, 55–66. Quaderni Vivaldiani 1. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 1980.

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    Discussion of the relationship between Vivaldi’s concertos and Bach’s music in general. Points out that the assimilation of Vivaldi’s style involved both emulation and transformation.

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  • Heller, Karl. “Zum Vivaldi-Bild im Deutschen Schrifttum des 19. Jahrhunderts.” In Nuovi studi vivaldiani. Edizione e cronologia critica delle opere. Quaderni vivaldiani 4. Edited by Antonio Fanna and Giovanni Morelli, 19–32. Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 1988.

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    Examines the trends and underlying issues in Vivaldi reception as evident from 19th-century German scholarly literature. Heller records several little-known references to Vivaldi, while noting the relatively small role Vivaldi was assigned amongst composers of pre-19th-century music.

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  • Travers, Roger-Claude. “La Redécouverte de Vivaldi par le disque, de 1950 à 1978.” In Vivaldi veneziano europeo: Atti del Convegno internazionale di studio svoltosi a Venezia dal 18 al 21 settembre 1978. Quaderni vivaldiani 1. Edited by Francesco Degrada, 333–346. Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 1980.

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    Account of the history of recordings of Vivaldi’s music during the era of LPs. Discusses the key trends in these recordings and their relationship to the growing interest in Vivaldi’s music during the mid-20th century. The conference was entitled “Vivaldi veneziano europeo: Convegno internazionale di studio svoltosi a Venezia dal 18 al 21 settembre 1978.”

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  • Vlaardingerbroek, Kees. “Vivaldi alla francese: Guido and Rameau ‘à la manière vivaldienne’.” Informazioni e Studi Vivaldiani 18 (1997): 63–80.

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    Addresses the influence of Vivaldi’s music among 18th-century French composers. Points to striking similarities between Vivaldi’s Le quattro stagioni and works by Guido and Rameau. Includes musical examples, tables, and transcriptions from documentary sources.

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LAST MODIFIED: 06/29/2011

DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199757824-0080

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