Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Concertos for bassoon, strings and continuo RV 485, 499, 472, 498, 497, 484, 495
Even from a preliminary examination of the Vivaldi’s vast opus, it is hard not to notice how many concertos he composed for the bassoon. The Red Priest wrote 37 (plus two, only part of which are extant), considerably more than those for better known instruments like the flute and the oboe. In spite of efforts on the part of numerous musicologists, no one has been able to establish satisfactorily what inspired Vivaldi to devote so much of his timeto an instrument that, until the beginning of the 18th century, was usually part of the basso continuo or, at best, had the obbligato part in arias in operas like Händel’s Pena Tiranna.