Antonio Vivaldi (1678 1741) composed around 550 concertos. Most of these were written for the Ospedale della Piet, a kind of orphanage which was home for the female offspring of noblemen and their mistresses. Even after leaving Venice he supplied concertos and directed performances for this Institute, where the musical standards were the highest in Venice. After listening to many of these works we soon realized that the guitar concertos, originally written for mandolin and lute, are amongst Vivaldis best. Besides the double concerto for two mandolins we decided to arrange two solo concertos, originally written for lute and mandolin. In these arrangements the second guitar takes the role of the continuo, which would usually be played on the harpsichord. When listening to the mandolin and guitar versions, we found that the same piece played on the mandolin sounds a lot clearer. This is not only due to the fact that the register of the mandolin lays an octave higher than the guitars. Arpeggio-like formations sound harp-like on the guitar but not on the mandolin. Traditionally guitarists play these figurations by holding all the notes of the chord with the left hand, producing this harp like sound. These formations played on the mandolin, violin or on wind instruments would sound a lot more like melodies, where notes do not overlap and you can hear the jump between the notes. It is possible to achieve the same on the guitar by lifting the fingers of the left hand just like other instrumentalist would do. Once we listened to this clearer sound we nearly always preferred this technique. We also tried to play as much as possible with rest stroke, (a guitarist technique of the right hand) as it sounds louder and fuller, which is useful specially when playing with or against other instruments……Download booklet
You can adjust all of your cookie settings by navigating the tabs on the left hand side.