Grosso mogul, also Il grosso mogul, or capitalised [Il] Grosso Mogul ([The] Great Moghul), RV 208, is a violin concerto in D major by Antonio Vivaldi.[1][2][3] The concerto, in three movements, is an early work by the Venetian composer.[4] Around the mid-1710s Johann Sebastian Bach transcribed the concerto for organ, BWV 594, in C major.[5] A simplified version of the violin concerto, RV 208a, without the elaborated cadenzas that appear in manuscript versions of RV 208, and with a different middle movement, was published around 1720 in Amsterdam as concerto #11 of Vivaldi's Op. 7.[4]

18th-century portrait of a Venetian violinist, presumably Antonio Vivaldi

History edit

Vivaldi's violin concerto in D major, RV 208, survives in three manuscripts:[6][7]

  • Vivaldi's autograph score, conserved in Turin.
  • A copy of the parts, conserved in the Landesbibliothek Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Günther Uecker in Schwerin.[3][4]
  • Another copy of the parts conserved in Cividale del Friuli.[4]

The Grosso Mogul title appears on the Schwerin manuscript, which was written before 1717.[3][4][7][8] According to Michael Talbot, the name of the concerto can possibly be linked to Domenico Lalli's Il gran Mogol opera libretto, a setting of which had been presented in Naples in 1713.[4][9][10] Later settings of this libretto include Giovanni Porta's, staged in Venice in 1717, and Vivaldi's RV 697 (1730).[11][12][13][14]

The Schwerin and Cividale del Friuli copies of the concerto contain two variants of extended cadenzas for unaccompanied violin, in the first and last movements of the concerto.[4][5][8] The autograph version indicates where such cadenzas can be inserted in these movements, but does not contain the cadenzas.[8] A manuscript with the written-out cadenzas must have been circulating before c. 1713–1714 when Bach transcribed such versions for solo organ (BWV 594).[5][7][8]

An earlier version of the concerto, RV 208a, was probably composed by c. 1712–1713.[7] This version has a different middle movement than the RV 208 version.[7][8] Vivaldi seems to have had no supervision over the Op. 7 collection, published around 1720 in Amsterdam by the Roger firm, in which the older RV 208a version of the concerto was retained.[7] This version of the concerto does not contain the extended cadenzas, nor an indication where such cadenzas could be inserted.[15]

Movements edit

The concerto has been transmitted in a version for violin soloist, strings (two violin parts and one viola part), and basso continuo.[3] It has three movements:[3]

  1. Allegro,  , D major
  2. Recitative: Grave,  , B minor – this movement is performed by the violin soloist exclusively accompanied by the thoroughbass.
  3. Allegro, 3
    , D major

First movement edit

The first movement, in D Major is in Ritornello form. The first solo episode consists of sixteenth notes, with double stops on every beat.[citation needed]

Second movement edit

The second movement, in B Minor is for the solo violin and basso continuo. There are strange rhythms, like improvisation.

Third movement edit

The third movement, in D Major, is in Ritornello form, and is the most virtuosic of the 3 movements.

Reception edit

References edit

  1. ^ Brover-Lubovsky 2008, p. 61.
  2. ^ Talbot 2011, pp. 92, 211.
  3. ^ a b c d e RISM 240005251
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Talbot 2011, p. 92.
  5. ^ a b c Dirksen 1992, p. 164.
  6. ^ Heller 1997, pp. 7374.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Rasch 2017, p. 257.
  8. ^ a b c d e Heller 1997, p. 74.
  9. ^ Il gran Mogol : drama per musica / di Domenico Lalli ; da rappresentarsi nel Teatro di S. Bartolomeo nel giorno 26. di decembre 1713 ; dedicato alla grandezza impareggiabile dell'Eccellentiss. signor conte VVirrico di Daun, vicerè, e capitan generale in questo regno di Napoli, &c. at Trove website.
  10. ^ Carlo Antonio de Rosa marchese di Villarosa (1840). Memorie dei compositori di musica del regno di Napoli: raccolte dal marchese di Villarosa. Naples: Stamperia reale, p. 110.
  11. ^ Talbot 2011, pp. 25, 92.
  12. ^ RISM 212008590
  13. ^ Mus.2444-F-1 at Saxon State and University Library Dresden website
  14. ^ Freeman, Daniel E. (1995). "Antonio Vivaldi and the Sporck Theater in Prague", pp. 117–140 in Janáček and Czech Music: Proceedings of The International Conference (St. Louis 1988). Pendragon Press. ISBN 094519336X, pp. 122, 129.
  15. ^ Heller 1997, p. 73.

Sources edit

External links edit