This very fine concerto is remarkable for its powerful expression associated with the minor mode, for its active contrapuntal writing, and for its rich chromatic harmony. In the first movement the highly effective solo part makes the most of the resonating properties of the key of A minor, from the ingenious opening variant of the motto to the brilliant capriccio around the open E-string that leads to the final Da Capo. While the movement generally follows the Vivaldian model of ritornello form, Zani develops strategies of his own. For example, after the customary second ritornello in the dominant a long unstable area weaves around a wide variety of keys. First the solo
returns briefly to the tonic, then it touches the seventh degree before retracting to the dominant for a new departure; after still more remote explorations, the ensuing ritornello then modulates from subdominant to submediant.
The Largo, reminiscent of the slow movement of Bach’s E major violin concerto, encloses an expressive violin cantilena within three solemn ritornelli: the first two in unison, the third richly harmonized. A spirited dance movement with short symmetrical phrases forms the finale, which replicates the tonal unfolding of the first movement and likewise reaches a virtuoso capriccio before the Da Capo.