Antonio Vivaldi: Thematisch-systematisches Verzeichnis seiner Werke (RV). By Peter Ryom. Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Hartel, 2007. [xxx, 633 p. ISBN-13: 9783765103728. [euro]98.] Fascimile, bibliographic references, indexes.
The only competition for Peter Ryom's Antonio Vivaldi: Thematisch-systematisches Verzeichnis seiner Werke (RV) comes from earlier works by Ryom himself. These begin with his Verzeichnis der Werke Antonio Vivaldis, Kleine Ausgabe (Leipzig: Deutscher Verlag fur Musik, 1974; revised ed., 1977) and continue with the collective source study of imprinted materials Les manuscrits des Vivaldi (Copenhagen: Antonio Vivaldi Archives, 1977) plus the instrumental music catalog called Repertoire des auvres d'Antonio Vivaldi:les compositions instrumentales (Copenhagen: Engstrom & Sodring, 1986). The first exposition of the RV numbering system came in his Table de concordances des auvres (RV) (Copenhagen: Engstrom & Sodring, 1973). All of Ryom's Vivaldi works (apart from translations into English of prefaces and introductions in the two later catalogues) are in French or German. The contents and main differences between the three catalogs (hereafter cited as A, B, and C) are summarized in Table 1.
Table 1 (Ryom review)
Feature Kleine Repertoire Thematisch-
Ausgabe des systemalisches
Code used here A B C
Date (saminathan) 1974/rev. 1977 1986 2007
Place of Leipzig Copenhagen Wiesbaden
No. of pages 214;rev. 226 726 + lxxviii 633 + xxx
Nature of entries Brief Extensive Comprehensive
Instrumental 1-585 1-585 1-585
Sacred vocal 586-648 - 586-648
Secular cantatas 649-686 - 649-686
Serenatas 687-694 - 687-694
Operas 695-740 - 695-740
Unclassifiable 741-750 - 741-750
Authorship claim Anhang 1-63 - Anhang 1-134
Summary of -- - 751-808
Any reader comparing these publications at a glance will be led to believe that there is little difference in the contents, because the outer limits of work numbers do not seem to vary by category. However, the total number of instrumental works (covered in all three) is not actually uniform, because relative to A (and to each other), B and C contain insertions and deletions. Fifty-seven new works have been added to the pool of authentic works since 1974. Seventy-one entries have been added to the appendix (Anhang) of works not considered to be by Vivaldi, and some of these are collections of works or work-fragments. Recently disattributed works hold a permanent place in the main numbering system but in lieu of an entry, the reader is referred to its new placement in the appendix. Some works which were originally placed in the appendix have taken "newly discovered" numbers (i.e., 751+) and are now integrated in the main sequence. What is stable is the tree-structure organization for instrumental music, which begins with genre (sonata, concerto), then passes to instrumentation, then to key (further segregated by mode). Ryom has abandoned an earlier sub-numbering system (in which some of this classification data was encoded) in C. Operas are ordered alphabetically. Vocal repertories employ various principles of organization (key and instrumentation where multiple works bear the same title; alphabetical order for the operas).
Table 1 also indicates that since C has a smaller page count than B, which covers only instrumental music, its typography (while admirably clear and employing helpful contrasts and running headers) relies on font sizes that will be problematical for some users. …