The Trio Sonata in A minor, RV86, for treble recorder, bassoon and continuo is unusual for its instrumentation. Vivaldi has chosen two melody instruments of a disparate character and which speak in widely differing registers. In some of his chamber concertos he used a similar grouping, as for example in RV105, but it is only in this musically well-sustained sonata that he fully explores the ranges and sonorities of the two instruments. In Germany, Telemann similarly paired a treble recorder with a bassoon, but in a full-scale concerto. Vivaldi’s layout is that of the four-movement ‘sonata da chiesa’ but elements of concerto style are present, especially in the structure of the two Allegro movements. In the second of the slow movements the recorder is treated as soloist and is accompanied with broken-chord figures by the bassoon. Most of the writing throughout demands virtuosity from the soloists.
from notes by Nicholas Anderson © 1989