Vivaldi's Four Seasons concertos are loved by audiences around the world, but classical music aficionados may not realise that original manuscripts of the famed works are cared for by Manchester's public library service.
The Four Seasons part-books, which were composed in the early 18th century, form part of an internationally important collection of 95 Italian concertos held at the Henry Watson Music Library, currently based at City Library on Deansgate.
The Manchester manuscripts, which are different from the more widely-heard ‘Le Cene’ version of Vivaldi’s most celebrated work, are being loaned to the Manchester Camerata for a Four Seasons concert at the Royal Northern College of Music, on Saturday 2 February. Attendees will have the chance to see the documents up-close in a special exhibition - and also to hear the ‘Manchester’ version of the concertos performed by the orchestra.
The Henry Watson Music Library will return to Central Library after its refurbishment is completed in 2014 and some of its most important items, including the Vivaldi part-books, will be exhibited to the public in a dedicated display space, on a rotation basis.
The concert at the RNCM will be directed by Giovanni Guzzo, who will play the Camerata’s recently acquired 1709 Stradivarius - the first opportunity Manchester audiences have had to hear this rare violin in a solo performance.