Performance Wednesday, March 11, 2015 | 7:30 PM

Venice Baroque Orchestra

Zankel Hall
The exuberant virtuosity of Italian Baroque music is showcased in this program with mandolin star Avi Avital and the scintillating Venice Baroque Orchestra. Vivaldi’s brilliant string writing is the heart of his energetic sinfonias and beloved “Summer” from The Four Seasons. The Venetian master also wrote dazzling music for other instruments, including lute, recorder, and mandolin. These works and melodic delights by Marcello, Geminiani, and Paisiello are also featured.


  • Venice Baroque Orchestra
  • Avi Avital, Mandolin


  • VIVALDI Concerto in C Major for Strings and Continuo, RV 114
  • VIVALDI Concerto in D Minor for Strings and Continuo, RV 127
  • VIVALDI Concerto in D Major for Lute, Strings, and Continuo, RV 93
  • MARCELLO Concerto in G Major for Strings and Continuo
  • VIVALDI Concerto in G Major for Two Mandolins, Strings, and Continuo, RV 532 (arr. for mandolin and recorder by Avi Avital)
  • GEMINIANI Concerto Grosso in D Minor (after Corelli's Violin Sonata Op. 5, No. 12, "Folia")
  • VIVALDI Concerto in C Major for Mandolin, Strings, and Continuo, RV 425
  • PAISIELLO Concerto in E-flat Major for Mandolin and Strings
  • VIVALDI Concerto in G Minor for Violin and Continuo, "L'estate" ("Summer"), RV 315


Vivaldi's Concerto for Strings and Continuo in G minor, R. 152 (Allegro molto)
Venice Baroque Orchestra
Deutsche Grammophon

At a Glance

Italy in the early 18th century—Venice in particular—was a hive of musical activity and innovation. Indeed, music was one of the country’s prime export industries. Italian composers (including Geminiani ), instrumentalists, and, above all, singers fanned out across Europe to satisfy the growing taste for music in the brilliant Italian style. At the same time, musical tourists flocked to the Venetian Republic, drawn by its cosmopolitan culture and famously fun-filled Carnival celebrations. The city’s thriving musical venues ranged from Europe’s first public opera houses and scholarly academies to religious and secular institutions such as St. Mark’s Basilica and the Ospedale della Pietà, the girls’ orphanage cum conservatory where Vivaldi served as violin master.

One of the most prolific and influential composers of his era, Vivaldi is a staple of modern concert programs. But the enormous popularity of his music is a fairly recent phenomenon. As early as 1720, Marcello pilloried Vivaldi’s operas in his satire Il teatro alla moda (The Fashionable Theater), and by the late 1700s, his music had been consigned to obscurity. Not until the 1920s and ’30s with the rediscovery of many of his manuscript scores did interest in Vivaldi begin to pick up. The introduction of long-playing recordings after World War II gave a further fillip to the “Vivaldi craze,” a development that one musicologist called “as momentous for lovers of Baroque music as that of the Dead Sea Scrolls for students of religion.”


This performance is part of Baroque Unlimited.