Concerto Grosso in Dm

  • Created by: lucya.w
  • Created on: 24-09-17 19:39

Baroque Concerto Grosso

A Concerto Grosso is a genre of music where the musical material is passed between a small group of soloists (the concertino) and a full orchestra (the ripieno). The concertino generally has more virtuosic music than the ripieno, and they do not often share thematic material. It was developed in the late 17th Century, although the term ‘Concerto Grosso’ would not be used until 1698 when Gregori published a set of 10 compositions.

There are 2 forms of the Concerto Grosso – the concerto da chíesa (a church concert) and the concerto da camera (a chamber concert). The concerto da chíesa alternated between fast and slow movements, and the concerto da camera was similar to a suite, in that it was introduced by a prelude, and incorporated popular dance ideas of the time.

 Concerto Grosso in D minor

Concerto Grosso in D minor was composed by Antonio Vivaldi and was published in 1711. The concertino is made up of two violins and a cello, and the ripieno is made up of strings and a continuo. For the first 20 bars of the piece, the two solo violins play unaccompanied. The second movement (the Adagio e spiccato) is extremely short (only three bars long), and the instrumentation is tutti, as everyone is playing. In the third movement the solo cello does not play as the solo violins converse with each other.

The Concerto is in D minor, and rarely changes key, however it does modulate briefly to the subdominant and the dominant keys (G minor and A minor).

Vivaldi uses figured bass for the continuo, and at the end of the second movement, there is a long dominant pedal, and a shorter tonic pedal. The concerto also has many perfect cadences throughout, for example the last two bars of the piece.

The piece begins with a duet for the two solo violins (20 bars). They are not accompanied, and there is a continuous tonic pedal of D shared between them. For the first six bars, the second violin imitates the first,


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