Stanford's approach is consistent: every song has a short piano ritornello
that is a variation of the melody's first line, and the accompaniment is mostly chordal, with some running eighth notes and an occasional dissonance, permeated by the conservative Victorian sound of his oeuvre.
Unique to the concerto first-movement form is the structure of of the orchestral ritornello
sections and how they are conected to the solo sections, which Koch describe' at length in its treatise.
If we now include more of the instrumental material, an even clearer and cleverer scheme appears, where the overture (86) is as 1:2 to the whole of the second part of the stanza, excluding the final ritornello
(24 + 18 + 36 + 8 + 24 + 62 = 172).
The source contains the first violin part, or rather the upper melodic part for all the ritornellos
that opened the individual songs of the collection, as well as for two songs (Nos.
Vivaldi's melodies often pour out over pulsating sixteenth notes, a technique reminiscent of his symphonic style and which is apparent in the vocal line as well as the ritornellos
Indeed, it is the richly varied ritornellos
that dominate, partly because the harpsichord sound is somewhat reticent, but partly because the delicate empfindsam sensitivity and occasional formulaic patterning of the solo part are less immediately arresting.
Lotti was possibly endeavouring to create an atmosphere of desolation and confinement in the orchestral ritornellos
through repetitive oscillating and descending semiquaver figurations in the archlute/mandoline above reiterated tonic and dominant pedals in the bass.
The vast majority of solo movements are in the style of arias that begin with opening ritornellos
, and when the voice enters with each line of the hymn text (to a melodic line not necessarily associated with the chorale), the chorale tune eventually emerges from the instrumental ensemble as a cantus firmus.
Vivaldi's "magnificent ritornellos
" served Quantz and many others as a model for their own work.
The sixth concerto gives us, in its opening movement, two ritornellos
for the price of one (the first of them containing a canon as 'silly' as the one in the first movement of Beethoven's Fourth Symphony).
As was a convention of the period, the soloist played during the ritornellos
, in that way leading the performance; in the soloist's part, then, the solo/tutti distinction simply signals alternations in texture and function.