Vivaldi Orchestra Praga is a chamber orchestra engaged in the authentic interpretation of baroque music on period instruments. Members of the orchestra play original instruments or replicas of them, use baroque bows in the authentic “bow” shape and unwound gut strings. These technical means provide a more forceful ‚attack‘ and a crudeness of sound which together evoke something of the expressive richness of baroque style.
The creation of the orchestra was prompted by new musicological findings which revealed both the presence and influence of Antonio Vivaldi in Bohemia. His music was brought to Bohemia as part of the spread of Italian opera. Vivaldi himself was a reputable opera composer, so it was hardly surprising that four of his operas were performed in Bohemia at this time, a period which also saw his fame as a composer of concertos and sacred works increasing.
The Vivaldi Orchestra Praga is a group of professionals committed to bringing the finest early music to a wider public through ‚authentic‘ performances. Their repertoire consists of a large number of solo concertos (for baroque violin, violoncello, recorder, flute and harpsichord), solo cantatas (for soprano and alto voices), concerti grossi and other compositions for string orchestra. In addition to compositions by Italian composers such as Antonio Vivaldi, Arcangelo Corelli, Tommaso Albinoni, Francesco Maria Veracini and Giuseppe Tartini, the orchestra plays German music (Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Friedrich Handel, Georg Philipp Telemann, Johann Pachelbel). Another speciality is discovering by which process these external influencies enriched Czech music. Clearly, composers such as Pavel Josef Vejvanovský, Franz Ignaz Biber, Antonín Plánický, František Ignác Tůma and František Benda are key to an understanding of the mycelium from which Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák later developed.