Antonio Vivaldi (Venetian, 1678-1741) Concerto in G minor, opus 8 no. 8, mvt. 3
Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" are among the most widely known and recognized classical works today. But those are only the first four of a set of twelve concerti, published as his Opus 8, and known collectively as "Il cimento del'armonio e dell'inventione" ("The Test of Harmony and Invention"). One could interpret "harmony" as the rules of proper composition, and "invention" as fantasy and imagination, always coexisting in the best music. The set also includes "La caccia" ("The Hunt"), "La tempesta di mare" ("The Storm at Sea"), and "Il piacere ("The Pleasure").
Opus 8 No. 8 has no special title, but the third movement uses my all-time favorite musical device: pedal tones! This is when one note is held for a long time in the low register (on an organ, the notes played by foot pedals, and here the bass instruments), while lots of activity happens in the higher register (in this case the violin solo). Excitement builds and builds until it can no longer be contained.
Fun fact for any fans of "The West Wing"--the first segment of every episode ends with an almost undetectable pedal tone which grows and grows until it inevitably leads into the theme music.
(In this recording, the pedal tones happen from about :55-1:32 and 2:37-3:13.)
In May 2017 I challenged my students to practice every day for 30 days in a row. In addition, I asked them to listen to 30 bite-sized musical selections I emailed daily. I collected my picks in this blog for posterity. So these are works I find particularly fun, interesting, or important, including a handful by composers who were born or who died in May. Please enjoy!