Antonio Vivaldi
Concerto in D Major
for Lute, 2 Violins and Basso Continuo
(RV 93)
  I.     Allegro
II.    Largo
  III.   Allegro

Transcribed for Organ Solo

Available as a Complimentary Download in August 2022



        Antonio Vivaldi was born in Venice on March 4, 1678, and was taught in his youth to play the violin by his father, Giovanni Battista. Although prepared for the priesthood, the young Vivaldi stepped aside soon after his ordination. For six years he served as maestro di violino at the Pio Ospedale della Pieta, an orphanage for girls. After a leave of two years, he returned and in 1716 was appointed maestro di concerti. His growing reputation as a composer secured him publications and an appointment as maestro di cappella da camera to Prince Philipp of Hessen-Darmstadt from 1718-20. Following subsequent activities in Rome and Venice, he traveled abroad from 1729-33, during which time he composed three concerti for lute and strings. In 1738, Vivaldi was named maestro di cappella at the Pieta in Venice, a position he left in 1741 to travel to Vienna, where he died soon after his arrival, on July 28 of the same year.

        The Concerto in D Major for Lute dates from the early 1730s and was composed while Vivaldi was visiting in Bohemia; it bears a dedication to Count Joseph von Wrtby (Jan Josef Vrtba). It is uncertain what variety of lute (leuto) the work was written for; the composer was familiar with the archlute (arciliuto), but the baroque lute would have been the more familiar one in Prague at that time. Practice and custom, as well as the range of the archlute, suggest that the solo passages would have sounded an octave lower than notated.

        The score presented here has been prepared in the tradition of Johann Sebastian Bach’s transcriptions for organ of several of Vivaldi’s concerti for stringed instruments. Although the integrity of the solo sections has been carefully retained, the bass lines of solo and tutti passages have in some instances been adapted to include octave displacements. There are occasional creative additions to inner voices, in keeping with idiomatic usage of organ timbres, textures and sonorities. The lowered octave transposition of the solo has been applied to the second movement only, once again in consideration of the unique qualities of the organ.