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As I type this, I'm listening to Vivaldi's Concerto in B Minor for 4 Guitars and Cello, which is labeled RV 580 and has the title "L'estro Armonico No 10." This is the specific recording:

https://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Concertos-Antonio-Vivaldi/dp/B0000040WX

However, every Google result, Wikipedia result, YouTube search, etc. that I can find for "RV 580" lists it as a concerto in B minor for 4 violins and cello.

I'm under the impression that RV numbers are unique - if they're not, perhaps that's the source of my confusion. But if they are...why is this piece labeled for guitar on at least one recording and labeled for violins elsewhere?

I've listened to some of the YouTube recordings which are labeled as violin and it is the same music (though of course sounds quite different!)

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You may refer to the full Ryom listing, (see Wikipedia here), but RV 580 is definitely for four violins (and violoncello by the way), and since it is the only one for four violins (J. S. Bach transscribed and arranged it for four harpsichords), there is no uncertainty here. And yes, RV numbers are supposed to be unique.

It is perfectly possible that someone else transcribed it for different instrument(s), still refering to the same number - this is different from the Ryom listing mentioning the same number twice. A single guitar is surely insufficient to replace four violins, and as I read the listing, the Romeros arranged it for four guitars.

  • +1 It's not at all uncommon for music originally written for one instrument to be transcribed for another. – Chris Sunami Oct 15 '18 at 15:45

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