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Pisendel had studied the violin with Torelli whilst he was a chorister at the court of Ansbach. On leaving Ansbach, Pisendel journeyed to the University of Leipzig (where Telemann also studied) stopping off en route in Weimar where he met Bach. He then proceeded to the court of Dresden in 1712, in whose employ he remained for the rest of his life. It was whilst accompanying the electoral prince on one of his many tours that he met and befriended Vivaldi. Pisendel spent nine months studying with Vivaldi in Venice in 1716, before returning to continue his studies in 1717. In addition to violin lessons, Pisendel also studied composition with Vivaldi as proven by the concerto movement for violin in A minor; this manuscript shows several corrections in Vivaldi’s hand. Vivaldi may have set this piece as a compositional exercise for Pisendel as it borrows material from the second and sixth concertos of Vivaldi’s ground-breaking L’estro armonico (Opus 3). It also provides links with Bach’s concertos: there is a striking resemblance between the ritornello of Pisendel’s work and that of the first movement of Bach’s double violin concerto. Additionally, the concluding bariolage passage possesses parallels in terms of technique, key and harmonic structure with an episode towards the end of Bach’s violin concerto in A minor (BWV1041).
from notes by Adrian Chandler © 2019