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Wednesday, July 14, 2004
  Concerto Grosso in G Minor, Op. 3, No. 2, RV 578 b) Allegro (second movement)
Antonio Vivaldi
Norton Recorded Anthology of Western Music, CD 5 Tracks 34-40

Once is never enough for large leaps and chromatic scales. Vivaldi found a way to indulge in these instrumental habits. He helped his listeners with repetitions. The tight harmonic changes Don Antonio favored, which were familiar to his critics, also help liberate the listener's ears. In the comfort of repetition and recognizable chords, visitors to the Pieta listened to music unlike song. They may have even hummed along.

They were listening to the sound of the string orchestra. The significant changes to the instruments since then have developed the strings, the bow, and the player's technique. And yet, Vivaldi makes good use of modern strings, bows and players like Kyung-Wa Chung. Because Vivaldi and his students successfully embraced the new without losing their audience, their accomplishment resonates farther from home and time than they could have imagined. Somewhere in the Midwest, while deciding which cereal to buy, a woman hears the Four Seasons and thinks, "I know that tune...and I like it."

What I like about this piece is section at track 39. Here, two solo Violins heroically stand against the orchestra. Exchanging parts every two beats, no one is sure which is which. 
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In January 2004 I starting writing an opinion for each selection in the Norton Recorded Anthology of Western Music. Now, more than a year later, I am almost finished. Soon, I will have an archive full of opinions on the music we so carelessly call "classical." And no one can stop me.

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Director of the Contemporary Performer's Workshop... Music Teacher for St. Aloysius Gonzaga School... Principal 'Cellist of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra... Composer

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