Work: Concerti grossi (12), Op. 6: no 4 in D major
About This Work
Like the rest of its Op. 6 family of concertos, this work gathers several unrelated movements originally composed for independent performance or perhaps in tandem with completely different movements. And like the other concertos, this one maintains a
pattern of slow music followed by fast, with a double dose of quick movements only at the end. The first movement announces itself with a short series of slow, widely spaced chords, then breaks into a hyperactive Allegro with the first violin and a partner maniacally noodling near the top of their range while the rest of the orchestra and continuo provide enthusiastic but more measured support. The long, sustained Adagio is a sepulchral procession in which a shifting bass line gives life to a melody that lies almost flat on the staff. A short Vivace movement brightens the proceedings, with the busy harpsichord continuo providing much of the momentum. A dancing Allegro rounds out the concerto, the melody swirling over a bouncing bass line and at one point reducing itself to a series of long trills. The orchestra revs up for an even faster concluding passage, but two chords bring the concerto to an abrupt end.
-- James Reel, All Music Guide
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