New Vivaldi Sonata Debuts (Again) After 250 Years

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Antonio Vivaldi is back in London, or at least his signature is. It helped authenticate two previously unknown violin sonatas, one of which will be performed Sunday afternoon at the Liverpool Hope University.

LIANE HANSEN, host:

Vivaldi fans, celebrate. A newly uncovered violin sonata will be performed today for the first time in more than 250 years. It was recently found, along with another violin sonata, in a collection that a businessman had donated to London's Foundling Museum.

Antonio Vivaldi was born in 1678 and died in 1741. The Italian composer is perhaps best known for "The Four Seasons," published in 1725. But that was just one among many works. Vivaldi wrote more than 500 concertos. He was known as the Red Priest because of his hair color and his membership in the clergy.

Michael Talbot, a Vivaldi authority, authenticated the two uncovered sonatas. Talbot says that from their relatively simple technical demands, it appears that the two sonatas were written by Vivaldi for amateurs.

"Sonata in C," will be performed later today by the La Serenissima Ensemble at Liverpool Hope University's Cornerstone Theatre.

But, for now, here's his "Sonata for Violin and Cello."

(Soundbite of music, "Sonata for Violin and Cello")

HANSEN: You're listening to NPR News.

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