RAINER KUSSMAUL Violine und Leitung
GEORG FAUST Violoncello
WOLFRAM CHRIST Viola d’amore


Konzert für Violine F-Dur RV 293
Der Herbst op.8 Nr.3 / Vier Jahreszeiten
Konzert für Violine F-Moll RV 297
Der Winter op.8 Nr.4 / Vier Jahreszeiten
Konzert für Violoncello in b-Moll RV

Konzert für Viola d’amore in a-Moll RV 397

Konzert für Violine in E-Dur RV 269
Der Frühling op.8 Nr.1 / Vier Jahreszeiten

Konzert für Violine in G-Moll RV 315 op.8 Nr. 2
Der Sommer op.8 Nr. 2 / Vier Jahreszeiten
Die zwölf Concerti op.8 erschienen 1725 bei Le Cene in Amsterdam unter dem Titel 11 cimento dell’armonia e del/’inventione (dt. „Der Wettstreit von Harmonie und Erfindung“). Gewidmet sind die zwölf Konzerte dem böhmischen Grafen Wenzel von Morzin, dessen Orchester von Vivaldi mit neuen Werken versorgt wurde. Die den Vier Jahreszeiten zugrundeliegenden, von Vivaldi selbst verfassten Sonette bilden das Programm. Die erste handschriftliche Fassung entstand höchstwahrscheinlich vor der Veröffentlichung der Konzerte und war im Besitz des berühmten Mäzens Kardinal Pietro Ottoboni, was durch das Manchester-Manuskript in der Central Library belegt ist. Vivaldi weist durch
Buchstaben im Notentext auf die entsprechenden TextsteIlen in den Sonetten hin. Erst in der 1725 erfolgten Veröffentlichung der Vier Jahreszeiten finden sich Passagen aus den Sonetten sowie weitere erläuternde Anmerkungen im Notentext. Die Vier Jahreszeiten treten aus den programmatischen Konzerten Vivaldis hervor, da sie innerhalb eines Satzes einen Handlungsstrang und nicht bloß eine programmatische Idee exponieren. Meisterhaft ist die Verknüpfung der Konzertform mit der programmatischen Handlung. Statische Szenen und Bilder wie z.B. die Sommerhitze entsprechen musikalisch dem Ritornell, während singuläre und flüchtige Ereignisse des Programms wie z.B. das Singen der Vögel im ersten Satz des Frühlings den Soloviolinen in den Episoden vorbehalten bleiben. Verwiesen sei an dieser Stelle noch auf die kunstvolle Verwendung der Einzelstimmen durch Vivaldi. Im zweiten Satz des Frühlings repräsentieren die Einzelstimmen je eine Handlungsebene des Programms. Die Solovioline stellt den schlafenden Ziegenhirten, die Tuttiviolinen stellen das Rascheln des Laubes und der Pflanzen und die Viola stellt den bellenden Hund dar.

The Baroque concerto (to bring into accordance, to unify, to work together) arose in the 16th century and, like the word sinjonia, it was used as a collective description for any ensemble playing. Praetorius brought the concerto to Germany at the beginning of the 17th century. Here the term was understood in terms ofthe Latin verb concertare -to compete. This „musical competition“ was played out between the various sound levels of the solo and orchestral instruments. Initially the expression applied only to vocalinstrumental ensemble music. The concerto became the central musical style of the baroque. In the second half of the 17th century the word concerto finally became specific to instrumental ensemble music, with or without solo players. The Italian.concerti written between 1660 and 1690, with their typical arrangement of solo and tutti passages in the outside ovements, were seen as a special form, even though are forerunners to the and ripieno concerti.
later solo concerti and concerti grossi. In Germany it became common to use the designation concerto to refer to compositions with one or more soloists in the first half of the 18th century. The earliest soloinstruments were trumpets and later the oboe and the violin were added. Antonio Vivaldi layed the foundations ofthe classical three-movement concerto form with its alternating ritornell i and episodes and its slow – fast – slow tempo plan.
Vivaldi produced an astonishing amount of music. He is currently accredited with approximately 770 compositions. These include 46 operas, of which 21. have survived, 344 solo concerti, 81 concerti with two or more solo instruments and 61 symphonies Le Cene, Amsterdam, published the twelve concerti of his op. 8 in 1925.
They appeared under the title: If cimento dell’armonia e dell’inventione (Uthe competition between harmony and discovery“). The title refers to the conflict between balance and innovation: balance, in terms of the clear formal arrangement of each piece, is played off against the innovative, tone painting in the program elements of the concerti. These two qualities (balancea’nd innovation) are particularly evident in the Faur Seasans. The twelve concerti are dedicated to the Bohemian Count Wenzel von Morzin, whose orchestra Vivaldi was supplying with new works. The story behind the Faur Seasans is told in a set of sonnets, written by Vivaldi. The first handwritten version of the concerti was in the possession of the famous patron, cardinal Pietra Ottoboni, this can be verified by referring to the Manchester Manuscript in the Central Library. Vivaldi uses letters in the manuscript to refer to the corresponding sections of the sonnets. It is only in the later version ofthe work published in 1725 that passages fram the sonnets appear in the music along with explanatory notes. The Faur Seasans are particularly notable among Vivaldi’s program works, because each individual movement of the four concerti develops a narrative idea rather than simply presenting a pragrammatic image. The combination of the concerto form with a programmatic idea is masterful. Static scenes and pictures, for example the summer heat, are expressed in the ritornelli, while singular, fleeting occurrences, for example the birdsong in the first movement of Spring, are reserved for the solo violin in its episodes. The Faur Seasans are also remarkable for Vivaldi’s artful use of individual voices. In the second movement of Spring, each voice represents a particular level ofthe pragram. The solo violin depicts the sleeping goatherd, the tutti violins the rustling of the forest floor and the viola a barking dog.
Today we find it remarkable that pragram music was erased fram the musical map so soon after the success ofthe Faur Seasans. Nevertheless, the concerti maintain their position as the early masterpiece ofthe genre, which finally experienced a renaissance in the 19th century. Vivaldi’s instrument was, without question, the violin. He won recognition and popularity as a violinist and teacher. In the 1720’S Vivaldi becameincreasingly interested in the cello. Between 1723 and 1729 Vivaldi committed himself to the regular production of cello concerti for the Ospedale della Pietä, the Venetian orphanage where he taught for many years. 24 of the numerous cello concerti have been preserved in their completed form. In the cello Concerto in b minor (RV 424) Vivaldi returns to the Ritornello form, with its tutti and solo episodes in the outside movements. The slow movement is a sonata movement, written in two sections and remains in the same key as the outside movements. Thus the largo forms an element of the overall tonality rather than setting up the usual tonal contrast. The viola d’amore is an instrument in a dass of its own, it belongs to neither the Gamba nor the string (violin, viola, cello, double bass) families. While Gamba instruments have five to six strings and frets to orient the playertonally, string instruments have four strings and no frets. The viola d’amore can be seen as a special variant within the Gamba family. It is approximately the size of a violin or viola and features flame-like tone holes that replace the more standard f- and c-holes. The instrument has four to seven strings and a set of resonance strings, which the player does not touch. These vibrate in sympathy with the main strings, thus strengthening the instrumental tone. The viola d’amore was generally used as a solo instrument in church music. Following Vivaldi’s death in 1741 the instrument more or less disappeared from the realm of art music and was generally only played by enthusiasts. The slow movement deserves particular attention. While the outside movements display the vitality of thebaroque in their riehly contrasted ritornello form, the largo presents the soloist with the opportunity to explore the beautiful tone of the viola d’amore in both melodie and chordal passages. Dr. Uli Bleckwehl Kaiserslautern

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