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CHAN 0647
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CHAN 0647
String Concertos, Vol. 1

Vivaldi: Paris Concertos

The Classical Shop
release date: October 1999

Originally recorded in 1999


Collegium Musicum 90

Simon Standage


All Saints Church, East Finchley, London


Nicholas Anderson


Jonathan Cooper

Richard Smoker


Record Label



Early Music

Total Time - 61:02
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String Concertos, Vol. 1



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Concerto for strings No. 1, RV 157

  in G minor - g-Moll - sol mineur  
1 I Allegro 2:08
2 II Largo 1:33
3 III Allegro 2:10

Concerto for strings No. 2, RV 133

  in E minor - e-Moll - mi mineur  
4 I Allegro 2:35
5 II Largo 1:37
6 III Allegro 2:13

Concerto for strings No. 3, RV 119

  in C minor - c-Moll - ut mineur  
7 I Allegro 2:32
8 II Largo 1:26
9 III Allegro 1:17

Concerto for strings No. 4, RV 136

  in F major - F-Dur - fa majeur  
10 I Allegro 2:00
11 II Andante 1:31
12 III Minuet: Allegro 1:26

Concerto for strings No. 5, RV 114

  in C major - C-Dur - ut majeur  
13 I Allegro - Adagio 2:55
14 II Chacona 3:00

Concerto for strings No. 6, RV 154

  in G minor - g-Moll - sol mineur  
15 I Allegro 2:10
16 II Adagio 1:22
17 III Allegro 2:51

Concerto for strings No. 7, RV 160

  in A major - A-Dur - la majeur  
18 I Allegro 2:04
19 II Andante 0:57
20 III Allegro 1:58

Concerto for strings No. 8, RV 127

  in D minor - d-Moll - ré mineur  
21 I Allegro 1:39
22 II Largo 0:53
23 III Allegro 1:05

Concerto for strings No. 9, RV 164

  in B flat major - B-Dur - si bémol majeur  
24 I [Allegro] 1:37
25 II Adagio 0:51
26 III Allegro 1:27

Concerto for strings No. 10, RV 121

  in D major - D-Dur - ré majeur  
27 I Allegro molto 2:03
28 II Adagio 1:10
29 III Allegro 1:52

Concerto for strings No. 11, RV 150

  in G major - G-Dur - sol majeur  
30 I Allegro 1:27
31 II Largo 0:46
32 III Allegro 1:30

Concerto for strings No. 12, RV 159

  in A major - A-Dur - la majeur  
33 I Allegro 1:45
34 II Adagio 1:16
35 III Allegro 1:56
Vivaldi: 'Paris' Concertos - CM 90, Standage

Vivaldi wrote over forty concerti a quattro for strings alone, without a soloist, and the present group were gathered together in a single manuscript, written in the hand of Vivaldi's father, and have been preserved in the Paris Conservatoire library ever since. They are each in three movements, with the central slow movement quite brief and acting as an expressive interlude linking the two vivacious framing allegros. The exception is RV 114, which is in two movements, the first moving from a sharply dotted allegro, with a jolly Chaconne to round things off. RV 133 has a striking Rondeau finale, and it is thought that these two works may have been composed separately from the others. They are all freshly inventive and played here with springing rhythms and plenty of vitality. In three concertos, though not specified by the composer, woodwind have been added to give extra colour. The touch of abrasiveness on the string sound is aurally bracing, and the slow movements have a nicely ruminative improvisatory feel. The recording is first class.
The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs

Collegium Musicum 90, under the guidance of Simon Standage, performs the first of a new series of Vivaldi’s String Concertos.

The twelve concertos in this recording constitute what is known as a manuscript set. In the early eighteenth century most sets were printed from movable type or engraved the sold to the public. Manuscript sets, in contrast, were written out neatly by hand and sold or presented to a single patron. For this reason they are likely to be customised in some way relevant to the patron.

Collegium Musicum 90 is regarded as one of the finest period ensembles today and its many recordings on Chandos are much admired.

The manuscripts of these string concertos exist as separate parts for the first and second violins, violas and bass preserved in the library of the Paris Conservatoire. The manuscript is quite likely to have reached the library as a result of the mass confiscations of Noble property following the French Revolution.

The concertos are all classifiable by genre as concerti a quattro: that is, concertos for the standard string orchestra of the time but without the participation of a violin or other soloist (although soloists can be extracted as needed for colouristic purposes). After the rise of the solo concerto from c.1710, concerti a quattro became much less popular, especially since operatic overtures, which were normally scored for exactly the same forces, could be detached from their parent work and used as independent concert symphonies (sinfonie de camera).

Vivaldi left over forty concerti a quattro, which were composed throughout his career. Most were probably destined for the concerts of instrumental music preformed by an all female ensemble that followed services in the chapel of the Ospedale della Pietà., where Vivaldi served in various capacities between 1703 and 1740.

In the first movements and most of the finales of the present concertos Vivaldi adopts a form related to, but not identical with, the so-called ritornello form associated with the fast movements of his solo concertos. The main difference is that there is here much less episodic writing, hence a tauter construction and a more consistently ‘symphonic’ manner of developing material. Nearly all the slow movements are brief interludes.

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