Question on Vivaldi's notation


I’m looking at Vivaldi’s score for L’Inverno and am trying to understand why these tied eighth notes aren’t just notated as quarter notes.

Also, why are there the dots that look like staccatos? I’ve seen in other scores of the same piece “t.” instead of the staccatos. I’m not a string player so maybe it’s a certain playing technique? How does one replicate it in Dorico?

It’s portato bowing. The quavers are separated, but played in the same bow as indicated by the slur. It’s a very common string technique.

1 Like

Technically, those are (or should be) slurs, not ties. Slurs indicate notes to be played on the same bow. The staccato dots should be inside the slurs, near the noteheads. The actual playing technique may vary: depending on taste/style/acoustics/player’s preference the notes may sound really staccato (by stopping the bow to articulate each note, think of a ta-ta-ta-ta), or much smoother, by rhythmically varying the pressure and speed in a more or less continuous bow movement, resulting in a gentle ‘wa-wa-wa-wa’.

3 Likes

L’Inverno = winter
is a concerto by Vivaldi describing and depicting winter.
These very beginning sounds depict the tremble from cold in the icy snow

Press ] to add staccato articulations. Press S on one selected note to create a slur to the next note. Once you’ve done a bar, you can select all the slurs (using the Filter), and then alt-click to other bars.

1 Like

If you must replicate this notation exactly, you can select all the notes with staccatos on them (make sure only notes are selected), then activate the Inside slur endpoint property with the box unchecked. Some composers (most notably Bartók) make a fuss that staccatos inside/outside slurs mean different things, but that is an edge case and not at all relevant to Vivaldi. Standard notational practice is definitely to have all dots inside the slurs, and Dorico does this by default. That is also what you’ll see in any other edition of the piece, apart from this Eulenburg one which happens to be the top result on IMSLP.

2 Likes

the first printed edition of this concerto ( Amsterdam: [Michel-Charles Le Cène] n.d.[1725]. Plate 520