Vivaldi's opus 3 (whose title loosely translates to 'Harmonic Innovation') was dedicated to the Florentine Grand Prince Ferdinand III de Medici, who was one of the chief patrons of the charitable 'conservatory' at which Vivaldi was master of strings. This was actually an orphanage for girls, but which had special emphasis on music education, and gained an amazing reputation for their musical performances. Known as the 'Red Priest', Vivaldi had been ordained in 1703, but was exempted from saying mass on grounds of ill health.
L'Estro Armonico was Vivaldi's first published collection of string concertos, and was one of the first works to introduce prominent soloists and ritornella into the sonata form. Previous concerti grossi had relied on a solo group who would play seperately from the main ensemble, but individual soloing was still rare. Although these works are laregly for multiple soloists (in this case 4 violins), the foundations of the solo concerto can clearly be seen, and each soloist has passages which they play with simple backing.
This arrangement was created for Plural Sax in 2000.
(Note that alto and tenor 3 parts are optional)
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