Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Concerti per fagotto, archi e continuo
Between 1739 and 1740 the President of the Burgundy Parliament, Charles de Brosses, was travelling around Italy. His “lettres familières” were soon to become essential travel reading, and are treasured by those who dabble in things musical. The President met Vivaldi in the twilight of his life - the Red Priest was to die very soon after. De Brosses saw in this elderly man, whose music dominated the whole of Europe, “an old man, qui a une furie de composition prodigieuse”. His proverbial passion for composing resulted in nearly five hundred concertos and only the violin concertos outnumbered the bassoon ones. Vivaldi’s forty or more bassoon concertos are amazing, not only for their number, but also because, with them he revived interest in an instrument that, late in the 17th century, practically disappeared for two generations.