Watch the Level 2: Beginner Classical online guitar lesson by Andrew Leonard from Take 5: Beginner Classical
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) was one of the Baroque era's greatest composers. He wrote over 500 concertos (instrumental pieces for a soloist and orchestra) and standardized the three movement concerto form (fast, slow and fast) that has been used for centuries. He was admired by J.S. Bach who also incorporated Vivaldi's three movement form into his compositions.
Vivaldi's best known composition is The Four Seasons,
a group of 4 violin concertos. Each one's title is a different season and they depict events occurring during each season: walking on ice and a summer storm are two examples.
Included in the over 500 concertos Vivaldi composed are pieces for almost every instrument imaginable including mandolin and the now very obscure viola d'amore.
"Largo" from the lute concerto in D major is part of the slow second movement and the orchestra is strings only. Lute music can easily be arranged for classical guitar. Below are two main things you might find interesting:
- The lute sounds about one and a half steps higher (3 frets) than a guitar. So, if you want to be authentic, a capo on the third fret will more accurately recreate the sound. Of course, this is not necessary.
- The lute was tuned almost the same as the guitar. The guitar equivalent is, from low string to high string: E, A, D, F# (not G), B and E. Many lute pieces work well in our standard tuning and some of the very complicated pieces are more easily played if you tune the guitar's third string down a half step to F#.
We are only playing the first half of the "Largo" movement. The second half is more complicated and beyond the realm of beginner classical guitar. Keep practicing!