Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Six Sonatas for violin and two violins RV 18, 30, 33, 35, 76, 72, Op. V, 1716
Concertos for the EmperorFollowing the artistic heights and the overwhelming popular success of opus 8 (Il Cimento dell'Armonia e dell'Invenzione), nearly two years elapsed before Vivaldi and his Dutch publisher issued a new collection of twelve concertos, a collection which represented in some way the promised continuation of the earlier work: La Cetra. Concerti consacrati alla Sacra, Cesarea, Cattolica, Real Maestà di Carlo VI [. . . ] da Don Antonio Vivaldi [. . . ] Opera Nona. The fact that the cultivated and melancholic Hapsburg emperor-known throughout Europe for his talents as a harpsichordist, conductor and even, to some extent, composer- consented to receiving such a dedication was certainly not an inconsiderable honor. As to the musical contents of opus 9, this collection has a less clearly defined character than the virtuosic opp. 6 and 7 and the experimental op. 8; one might say that it is more eclectic.