The concertos of Vivaldi, Bach, Handel and their contemporaries are some of the most popular, and the most frequently performed, pieces of classical music; and the assumption has always been they were full orchestral works. This book takes issue with this orthodox opinion to argue quite the reverse: that contemporaries regarded the concerto as chamber music. The author surveys the evidence, from surviving printed and manuscript performance material, from concerts throughout Europe between 1685 and 1750 (the heyday of the concerto), demonstrating that concertos were nearly always played one-to-a-part at that time. He makes a particularly close study of the scoring of the bass line, discussing the question of what instruments were most appropriate and what was used when. Dr RICHARD MAUNDER is Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge.
This is a fascinating book that every baroque soloist and conductor should read and I'm sure it will have a profound influence on the performance of these works in the future - Adrian Butterfield, EARLY MUSIC TODAY
Maunder's book is thorough, thought provoking and packed with minute, fascinating detail. - Andrew Manze, EARLY MUSIC