Baroque Different interpretations - same piece Vivaldi

Different Interpretations of the same piece

One of the most fascinating aspects of Classical music is how Soloists, Chamber groups and Orchestras interpret the musical scores of the Masters. The enormous discrepancies between versions is highlighted here. The first is used in my post, “The Bassoon, Vivaldi’s love of it and my funny dream”

I love this piece of music. It’s uplifting, soaring with a solar plexus punch!

Vivaldi’s Bassoon Concerto RV 498 – Allegro

Basoon concerto in A rv-498-allegro


Now listen to this! … by a supposedly well respected orchestra. To my ear all of the passion, guts and punch have been removed, creating a “Vivaldi elevator piece.” What’s the story? I’m sure a professional bassoonist or experienced conductor could read Vivaldi’s original score (if it still exists) and tell which of these two versions is closest to what he composed. I just can’t imagine it’s this one!

I’ll wait and  hope that one day someone with ‘the knowledge’ will visit my blog and comment!


  • Jim
    June 17, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Thanks Ron – the youtube link above is a real ear opener! It sounds like it’s exactly mid-way between the two versions I’ve posted. Also the comments on the utube piece go a long way to answering my questions about “interpretations”

  • Ron
    June 17, 2009 at 11:22 am

    …what i just notice is there’s no harpsichord in the continuo of the 1st sample…so i may be wrong.

  • Ron
    June 17, 2009 at 11:14 am

    i cannot really tell but the 1st one sounds like it’s played with Period-Instruments …even the articulations and tempo they’ve chosen. There’s an upload on youtube of the bassoon concerti by Harmonico101 …. this one sounds similar.

    The second one however sounds like a modern ochestra playing “à la moderne.”

    Am i right ?

  • Jim
    April 16, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Doug and Josee – I think the reason that this HUGE difference in interpretation got my goat… is because I like the “real” first interpretation so much. At leastI hope it’s the “real” / closest to Vivaldi’s intention! Still waiting on a Conductor or Bassoonist with “the knowledge” to let us know.

  • Doug
    April 16, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    As Josee sez, there is more than one answer. We’d never grow without trying different things.

    That said, I have heard many musicians absolutely slaughter music that I have heard performed sublimely elsewhere. I do not misuse my extremes here.

    I won’t name names, but there is group outa Koln that will perform one movement very well and another movement very poorly. They are young, with big egos that fight each other and you can hear it.

  • Josee
    January 25, 2009 at 5:19 am


    I just completed a leadership training course in which we learned that creativity is a matter of changing perspective and that there is more than one answer. The media used to demonstrate the points was Dewitt Jones’s National Geographic – he showed photos getting progressively better with different lense and perspective.

    Being a classical music enthousiast, I immediately drew the parallel with music. There are so many interpretations of the same music – the key being to select an emotion and project it with the instrument… different perspective, many right answers.

    I was lloking for example and this is a great one – thanks for posting it!