Sonata per violino, violoncello e basso continuo, RV 820
Edited by Federico Maria Sardelli
“Edizione critica delle Opere di Antonio Vivaldi”
Ricordi, Milan, 2015
The sonata RV 820 represents two ‘firsts’: it is the latest work to be added to the Vivaldian canon, and it is also one of the very oldest works by Vivaldi. Having come to light among the numerous anonymous manuscripts preserved in the Sächsische Landesbibliothek – Staatsund Universitätsbibliothek in Dresden, it was attributed to him by Federico Maria Sardelli on the basis of several musical concordances with early works of known authenticity; in addition, a complex web of biographical and paleographical relationships has revealed how this sonata, copied in the hand of the very Young Johann Georg Pisendel, belonged to an initial stock of compositions that Giuseppe Torelli brought with him from Italy after his appointment as Kapellmeister at Ansbach in 1698. In this context, Vivaldi’s sonata finds itself in the company of two manuscripts containing early versions of two concertos that were later included in L’estro armonico. From these facts we gain a new picture that sheds light on Vivaldi’s period of apprenticeship and his debt to Torelli: from a stylistic viewpoint, RV 820 is an unusual type of sonata that remains structured in a late- seventeenth-century way, a work into which Vivaldi injects inventions that are completely new and individual. is is a rare jewel that reveals the work produced by its composer before he became himself.