Finding a Lost “Friend”

Last year I came across a list of favorite music I’d started compiling years earlier and one of the pieces was a violin concerto by Antonio Vivaldi, one of my favorite classical composers. Unfortunately, the list didn’t show the name of the piece and he wrote over 230 violin concertos. I set about listening to Vivaldi CDs I owned and others from the library. I knew it was the second Andante movement, but none that I listened to quite matched the poignant and moving quality I recalled.

This afternoon I played an old LP that John Lee Hooker and Canned Heat had made together (Hooker n’ Heat, 1971). Then I noticed that among the records I’d gotten out to play some time ago was a 1980 Musical Heritage Society recording of Vivaldi mandolin concertos. On a hunch I played the last piece on side two and that was it: Concerto a Due Chori in B-Flat Major, P. 368/F.I. No. 60, “Con Violino Discordato,” strings and B.C [RV 583].

When I looked online for a CD of the piece, I found only a couple of recordings are available. You can listen to it here on YouTube.

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi was born March 4, 1678 in Venice, Italy and died July 28, 1741 in Vienna, Austria. He’s best known for “The Four Seasons” (circa 1725), but also for his 12 concertos “L’estro armonico” op.3 (1711). I enjoy these and other works by Vivaldi, but this concerto for “violino discordato” will always have a special place.

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