Pedagogy for Vivaldi
Usually these threads involve Bach and legato and détaché.
But in Vivaldi urtexts we're even less likely to see legato, aren't we? And to judge from editions, added legato is random.
Is there any Vivaldi pedagogy?
I'm a little confused by the question, but it is certainly not true that baroque music can not be played legato. Vivaldi would not have written the word 'Legato' in his scores, but legato articulation is very much the default for scalic passages. As for detache, this is a stroke born out of the French Revolution violin school of playing (think Kreutzer and Rode) and is not so much applicable to Vivaldi and Bach.
"legato is very much the default articulation for scalic passages."
The French word [Detache'] is almost a false cognate. Like the English [Detached}, it has the second dictionary meaning of [Indifferent]. So for me, the violin jargon word [Detache'] is ordinary, "plain vanilla" back and forth bowing, without intentional stops or gaps between the notes. With Baroque era string music, we have a lot freedom to add small slurs, and do unequal timing on the down and up bows. I suspect that composers like Vivaldi wrote so much, so fast, that they would just trust the musicians to finalize the bowing in rehearsal.
"Pedagogy" carries implications of currentness. For baroque music in the modern idiom this is shifting ground and varied opinion, as different people are paying more and less attention to accounting for the old conventions in modern performances. Which is to say that I don't think you'll find one "mainstream" approach to interpreting baroque music.
At the point and mainly with the wrist it is very well possible, and the standard for baroque playing as well as classical, to play fast passages in 16th notes. See Leopold Mozart. I disagree that playing these slurred would be the default, although I do agree that adding slurs here and there for convenience or musical emphasis is perfectly fine.
Some people think that if it's not marked clearly on the original, then it shouldn't be done. Over the centuries we have lost what would have been common knowledge at the time which composers would not have bothered to write down since everybody would have known it. Sparse dynamics without gradations have lead people to think that things were either loud or soft without any shadings or gradual transitions between. People often think that all those runs of Baroque 16th notes (or 8th notes in alla breve) would have been played detache since there were no legato indications. But that was most likely not the case in actual performance practice of the time the music was composed in.
David, have you seen Leopold Mozart's book? A very large part of it consists of precise instructions of how to bow various passages. It goes on for tens and tens of pages.
I just checked the first edition of the sonatas op. 2 on IMSLP. One finds numerous slurs in it*. I'd say they give a pretty detailed impression of how Vivaldi himself would've played them. There are also dynamic markings BTW. We should not assume that baroque composers left everything to the players; they clearly are not all the same in this regard. Bach as an extreme case almost always wrote down slurs and ornaments in detail**--if they are not there in Bach I assume he did not want any. Problems arise then of course in all the works where his own manuscript has been lost.
Be careful, L. Mozart's Versuch (1756) is a whole generation (or two) after Vivaldi. Mozart's German tastes were definitely note the same as Vivaldi's in northern Italy.
I see what you want to say Dorian, but hmm, Leopold finished his book around the time Wolfgang was born, so around 1755. Vivaldi died 15 years earlier. So I think Leopold was well aware of the Italian conventions around Vivaldi's time, indeed, he often quotes passages "from an Italian master" probably Tartini (Leopold was friends with Nardini a student of Tartini).
But Vivaldi's music was old-fashion by his last years — he died in poverty in 1741.
Probably the best source for this is Geminiani's treatise (as Andres pointed out earlier)
Of course Vivaldi could trust his musicians to play his works tastefully. The violinists of his day likewise trusted him not to make things gratuitously difficult.
Thanks Dorian, Chris for educating me!
"The violinists of his day likewise trusted him not to make things gratuitously difficult."
The Ospedale prepared the girls for marriage material.
Gordon has a great point. That's why I also mentioned Geminiani is very different than Vivaldi we should be weary of applying Geminiani to any other composer, esp. those not in the Corelli school.
"We can get some kind of vague composite picture from all these writers (Geminiani, L. Mozart, Quantz, CPE Bach, and many more), and we should study them, but we'll never know for sure. But that's where the fun is, right?"