Coming to the analysis of the musical material presented in the two sources of the concerto in D minor, it is interesting to point out the discrepancies in the manuscripts:


  • The two viola parts in the Lund manuscript are notated in G-clef, while in the copy in Vienna the usual C-clef is used. 

  • The indication “Viola 1mo” and “Viola 2do” is correct in the Swedish source, according to the musical function, while in the Viennese manuscript the roles are interchanged.

  • As it has been already mentioned, in the copy in Vienna Sanguinazzi's violone part is simplified.

  • In the Lund manuscript the last movement is marked as Vivace, while in the Vienna copy and in the transcription by Bach it is marked as Allegro.

  • In the Lund manuscript the shape of the arpeggios in the Violino Principale part in the first bar of the fifth movement (bar 127) is different, compared to the Viennese version and Bach's transcription, which are concordant.

  • The numeration for the figured bass line is not concordant between the two sources. For what I could observe, the Lund numeration for the harmonic realization of the continuo line is less descriptive of what happens in the upper parts, enriching the harmony with more seventh chords, compared to the Viennese numeration. 


Movement scheme and corresponding bar numbers in my edition of the score (see Appendix)


  1. Adagio. Allegro

  2. Adagio (bar 49)

  3. Allegro (bar 45)

  4. Adagio (bar 122)

  5. Andante (bar 127)

  6. Largo (bar 156)

  7. Allegro (bar 167)


Scholars' Thesis


Several musicologists expressed their opinion in the debate regarding the paternity of this concerto: Jean-Pierre Demoulin, Federico Maria Sardelli, Roland de Candè, David Schulenberg and Michael Talbot took Vivaldi’s side. Alberto Basso, Karl Heller and Jean-Claude Zehnder expressed their propension towards Torelli, specifically in relation to the transcription made by Bach.

This violin concerto in D minor has recently been catalogued as RV 81333, after the article written by Federico Maria Sardelli: Le opere giovanili di Antonio Vivaldi”, published inStudi Vivaldiani, 5 (2005). Sardelli's thesis and observations retrace the ones presented by Jean-Pierre Demoulin in the article Quel est l'auteur du Concerto en Re mineur pour violon, RV Anh.10?”, published in Vivaldi vero e falso: Problemi di attribuzione.

The problems, regarding a possible attribution to Torelli, raised by Demoulin and Sardelli are the following:


  1. There are no concertos by Torelli with so many movements; all of his edited concertos are structured in 3 movements.

  2. There are no slow movements known in Torelli's production which consist only of slow arpeggios in the solo part.

  3. The harmonic approach in this concerto is much more mobile and dynamic compared to what is usually observed in Torelli’s music and there are no concertos written by him with such long and peregrinating modulations, such as seen in this one. Moreover, in this concerto there is a massive use of progressions, there are 16.

  4. The violinistic language: there are no concertos by Torelli in which the soloist has such a rampant and prominent role, at the expenses of the orchestra.


On the contrary, the clues in favour of Vivaldi would be the following:


  1. Vivaldi wrote concertos with more than five movements (e.g., RV 175, RV 355).

  2. The dotted rhythm of the opening is comparable to the one of the concerto op. 3 no. 7 by Vivaldi, or to the Adagio RV 381.

  3. The following Allegro (bar 6) is a sort of long Cadenza on a pedal, comparable to the beginning of the concerto op. 3 no. 11 by Vivaldi.

  4. Certain descending lines in the bass recall the end of the introduction of the concerto op. 3 no. 11 by Vivaldi.

  5. The second movement, chordal and homorhythmic is typically Vivaldian.

  6. The subject of the beginning of the third movement is very much similar to the one at the beginning of the concerto no. 3 op. 3 by Vivaldi. It presents also some analogies with the theme of the second movement of the concerto op. 3 no. 2 by Vivaldi.

  7. The fifth movement, with its slow arpeggios, is typically Vivaldian.

  8. The sixth movement represents a sort of melodic conclusion of the previous one and this is typical of Vivaldi's style.

  9. The seventh movement presents a typically Vivaldian bipartite theme, comparable in the structure to the second movement of the cello sonata RV 40.

  10. The presence of two viola parts is not usual in Torelli, while it has been used by Vivaldi in his op. 3 “L'Estro Armonico”.


Sardelli, then, goes further in the comparison between the thematic materials of this concerto and other Vivaldi's works. Specifically, the theme of the III movement would be a “primitive” version of the theme of the II movement of the concerto n.2 op.3 by Vivaldi. As a proof of this assumption, according to Sardelli, the realization made by Bach in his transcription, by completing with an ascending scale the head of the subject, would represent a conscious quotation of the concerto from the Estro Armonico.

Sardelli states that another Vivaldian “signature” is represented by the progression, in the last movement, built on an ascending chromatic scale, with the shift in the bars 237-238 from the dominant chord to the one of the relative major (e.g., RV 578, bars 48-51).

Interestingly, both Demoulin and Sardelli, after having compared the two sources, state that the Viennese manuscript is more reliable than the Lund one, nevertheless «hormis peut-être l'attribution à Torelli» (i.e., except the attribution to Torelli, quoting Demoulin).


Scholars' Thesis