Concerto in D major for 2 violins and 2 cellos
Corelli's influence on the younger generation of composers comes through clearly in the music of Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741). Like Corelli, Vivaldi spent most of his career in one place, Venice, though beginning in 1718, he traveled extensively. (He actually died in Vienna.) And Vivaldi, too, lavished much more effort on instrumental music than most of his contemporaries, leaving a legacy that included 500 or so concertos; unlike Corelli, he also composed several operas and a large amount of sacred vocal music.
The Concerto for Two Violins and Two Cellos combines the best of (what was then) past and present. Its three-movement layout mirrors that of the concertos from L'estro armonico, but its instrumental disposition brings it much closer to the world of the concerto grosso, with a concertino group pitted against ripieno strings. The slow movement here is dominated by the soloists, whose lyrical music unfolds over the continuo accompaniment, punctuated briefly but effectively by the ripieno strings.
John Mangum is the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Program Designer/Annotator.