Antonio Vivaldi

Antonio Vivaldi

Real Name:
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi
Profile:
Italian Baroque composer, virtuoso violinist, teacher and cleric.
Born March 4, 1678, Sestiere di San Marco, Repùblica Vèneta, Italy. Died July 28, 1741, Kärntnertor, Vienna, Austria.

He is recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread across Europe. He is known mainly for composing many instrumental concertos, for the violin and a variety of other instruments, as well as sacred choral works and more than forty operas. His best-known work is a series of violin concertos known as "The Four Seasons".

Vivaldi's career as a violinist and composer was almost inevitable. His father was Giovanni Battista Vivaldi, a founder of the Sovvegno dei musicisti di Santa Cecilia, an early musician's collective, who's President was the Baroque operatic composer and tutor Giovanni Legrenzi. As a youth, touring and performing around Venice in accompaniment on the violin with his father, he is likely to have been influenced by Legrenzi who had become maestro di cappella at St. Mark's Basilica in 1681.

A redhead like his father, Vivaldi took up the course of attaining a priesthood in 1693 and became ordained in 1703, referred to by those around him as "Il Pretto Rossi" because of his red hair. By late 1703 he was unable to maintain his practice in the priesthood due to ill health and sought employment as a tutor of music, retaining his reverential title.

By 1704 he worked as maestro of violin in Venice at the orphanage of the Devout Hospital of Mercy, an institution known as Conservatorio dell'Ospedale della Pietà, providing shelter to orphaned and abandoned children. Here the boys were taught a trade, whilst the girls were given a musical education. The talented were selected for the conservatory's orchestra & choir, which gained high regard both in Venice and abroad. Vivaldi used this period to write the majority of his concertos, cantatas and arias.

The institute provided an ideal environment for Vivaldi to explore the avenues of the ritornello form. The first of his works were published in 1705, a second Opus in 1709. His third Opus was published in Amsterdam in 1711 and gained him enthusiastic attention throughout Europe – followed by a fourth Opus in 1714. He became Musical Director of the Pietà's institute in 1716 and was contracted to provide two concerti a month for the orchestra. Papers from the Pietà's history show that Vivaldi produced 140 concerti between 1723 and 1733.

In 1714 Vivaldi took on the role of impresario of the theater Sant'Angelo in Venice, presenting "Orlando finto pazzo", "Nerone fatto Cesare" and, despite earlier censorship, "Arsilda Regina di Ponto" in which the female lead (Arsilda) falls in love with another woman (Lisea), who is disguised as a man. Vivaldi's operatic style caused both outrage and acclaim. For three years he produced operatic work for the governor of Mantua, Prince Philip of Hesse-Darmstadt. He then moved to Milan and then Rome in 1722, performing for Pope Benedict XIII. It is in this period that he consolidated what was to become one of his most popular works "The Four Seasons", eventually published within a collection of twelve compositions "Il Cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione" in 1725.

Vivaldi had moved in high circles at this point, writing a wedding cantata for Louis XV and "La Cetra", a dedication to Viennese Emperor Charles VI who knighted the composer and invited him to Vienna. By 1730 Vivaldi's style and popularity had waned and he sold up much of the rights to his work and relocated to Vienna, accompanied by his father. He took residence in a four-story house known as "Satlerisch Haus" (saddle-maker's house) ran by Maria Agathe Wahler, the widow of the saddlemaker. The property was situated above the Kärntnertor, one of eight fortification gates surrounding Vienna, close to the Kärntnertortheater where Vivaldi began to stage operas such as "Farnace" in 1737.

It is likely that he was to take up a position in the court of Charles VI but when the emperor suddenly died in 1740 – reputedly of mushroom poisoning, Vivaldi was left stranded without royal support or full remuneration. His health quickly declined and his asthmatic history took its toll some nine months later. He died of 'internal infection' at his home in Vienna. He was given a simple burial in the cemetery of Spitaller Gottesacker following a funeral at St. Stephen's Cathedral.
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Antonio Vivaldi Discography

Albums

Vivaldi* Les Quatre Saisons Guilde Internationale Du Disque France 1950 Sell This Version
LPS 256 Vivaldi* - Renzo Sabatini, The London Chamber Orchestra conducted by Anthony Bernard Vivaldi* - Renzo Sabatini, The London Chamber Orchestra conducted by Anthony Bernard - Concerto In A Minor and Concerto In D Minor(10", Album) London Records LPS 256 US 1950 Sell This Version
A. Vivaldi* L'Estro Armonico 12 Concerto For String Orchestra, Opus 3 (Album) Vox (6), Vox (6), Vox (6) US 1952 Sell This Version
LD 06 Vivaldi*, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Pierre Pierlot, Paul Hongne, Robert Gendre, Robert Veyron-Lacroix Vivaldi*, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Pierre Pierlot, Paul Hongne, Robert Gendre, Robert Veyron-Lacroix - Sonates et Concerti(LP, Album, Mono) BAM LD 06 France 1953 Sell This Version
PL 7990 Vivaldi*, Orchestra Da Camera Di Milano, Edwin Loehrer Vivaldi*, Orchestra Da Camera Di Milano, Edwin Loehrer - Serenata A Tre (La Ninfa E Il Pastore)(LP) VOX (6) PL 7990 UK 1953 Sell This Version
LX 3100, LX.3100 Vivaldi*, Marcello*, Ernest Ansermet Conducting L'Orchestre De La Suisse Romande Vivaldi*, Marcello*, Ernest Ansermet Conducting L'Orchestre De La Suisse Romande - Bassoon Concerto In D Minor / Oboe Concerto In C Minor(10", Mono) Decca, Decca LX 3100, LX.3100 UK 1953 Sell This Version
33CX1170 Vivaldi*, I Musici Vivaldi*, I Musici - Four Concertos(LP, Mono) Columbia 33CX1170 UK 1954 Sell This Version
FBLP 25.095, FBLP 25095 Vivaldi*, Virtuosi Di Roma Direction Renato Fasano Vivaldi*, Virtuosi Di Roma Direction Renato Fasano - Vivaldi : 2 Concertos(10", Album) La Voix De Son Maître, La Voix De Son Maître FBLP 25.095, FBLP 25095 France 1954 Sell This Version
WL 5341 Vivaldi* - Nouvel Orchestre De Chambre De Paris, André Jouve Vivaldi* - Nouvel Orchestre De Chambre De Paris, André Jouve - Concerto In A Minor For Bassoon / Concerto In F Major For Flute / Concerto In G Minor ("For The Dresden Orchestra") / Concerto In D Minor For Oboe(LP, Mono) Westminster WL 5341 US 1954 Sell This Version
Vivaldi* - Guido Cantelli, The New York Philharmonic Orchestra, John Corigliano (2) Vivaldi* - Guido Cantelli, The New York Philharmonic Orchestra, John Corigliano (2) - The Seasons, Op. 8 (Album) Columbia Masterworks Italy 1955 Sell This Version
36010 Bach*Vivaldi* - Nathan Milstein Bach*Vivaldi* - Nathan Milstein - Bach: Two Violin Concertos, No. 1 In A Minor, No. 2 In E Major (Bwv. 1041/2), Nathan Milstein, Vivaldi: Two Violin Concertos, In D Minor And A Major (F. I Nos. 28 & 39)(LP, Album) Angel Records 36010 US 1955 Sell This Version
LHMV-26 Antonio Vivaldi, Virtuosi Di Roma "Collegium Musicum Italicum", Renato Fasano Antonio Vivaldi, Virtuosi Di Roma "Collegium Musicum Italicum", Renato Fasano - The Seasons(LP) RCA Victor LHMV-26 US 1955 Sell This Version
33 - QCX - 10180 I Musici, Félix Ayo, Bruno Giuranna, Enzo Altobelli, Arcangelo Corelli, Antonio Vivaldi, Giovan Battista Martini* I Musici, Félix Ayo, Bruno Giuranna, Enzo Altobelli, Arcangelo Corelli, Antonio Vivaldi, Giovan Battista Martini* - Arcangelo Corelli / Antonio Vivaldi / Padre G. B. Martini(LP, Album) Columbia 33 - QCX - 10180 Italy 1956 Sell This Version
Vivaldi*, I Musici Vivaldi*, I Musici - From "Il Cimento Dell'Armonia E Dell'Invenzione" Op. 8 (Album) Philips, Philips UK 1957 Sell This Version
H-71022-B Antonio Vivaldi Concertos For Violins/ Concertos For Piccolo(LP, Album) Nonesuch Records H-71022-B US 1957 Sell This Version
Purcell*, Vivaldi*, Haydn* Purcell*, Vivaldi*, Haydn* - Music For Trumpet And Orchestra (Album) Kapp Records, Kapp Records US 1958 Sell This Version
The London Baroque Ensemble* Conducted By Karl Haas Play Albinoni*, Tartini*, Pergolesi*, Vivaldi*, Scarlatti* The London Baroque Ensemble* Conducted By Karl Haas Play Albinoni*, Tartini*, Pergolesi*, Vivaldi*, Scarlatti* - Albinoni. Tartini. Pergolesi. Vivaldi. Scarlatti. Pye Records Ltd. UK 1958 Sell This Version
Vivaldi*, I Musici Vivaldi*, I Musici - 4 Concerti Con Titoli - Il Sospetto / L'Inquietudine / L'Amoroso / Il Riposo (Album) Philips, Philips Netherlands 1958 Sell This Version
ALP 1589, ALP. 1589 Albinoni*, Vivaldi*, Pergolesi* - Virtuosi Di Roma (Collegium Musicum Italicum)* Conducted By Renato Fasano, Renato Zanfini, Michele Visai Albinoni*, Vivaldi*, Pergolesi* - Virtuosi Di Roma (Collegium Musicum Italicum)* Conducted By Renato Fasano, Renato Zanfini, Michele Visai - Concerto In D Major, Op. 7, No. 6 / Concerto In C Major / Sonata In A Major, Op. 2, No. 3 / Concerto In G Major(LP, Mono) His Master's Voice, His Master's Voice ALP 1589, ALP. 1589 UK 1958 Sell This Version
PL 10.740 Vivaldi* 4 Bassoon Concertos(LP) VOX (6) PL 10.740 US 1958 Sell This Version
CND 42, C.N.D. S 42 Antonio Vivaldi - Orchestre De Chambre Paul Kuentz Antonio Vivaldi - Orchestre De Chambre Paul Kuentz - Les Quatre Saisons(LP) Club National Du Disque, Le Club Des Jeunesses Musicales De France CND 42, C.N.D. S 42 France 1958 Sell This Version
LPA 1007 Antonio Vivaldi - Aladar Janes, Roberto Benaglio Antonio Vivaldi - Aladar Janes, Roberto Benaglio - Stabat Mater / Kyrie(LP, Album) Angelicum LPA 1007 Italy 1958 Sell This Version
U116 Mendelssohn*, Franck*, Bach*, Vivaldi* Mendelssohn*, Franck*, Bach*, Vivaldi* - Basic Library Of The World's Greatest Music - Album No. 16(LP + Box) Standard Reference Works Publishing Company U116 US 1958 Sell This Version
DL 10072 Paul Kuentz / Antonio Vivaldi Paul Kuentz / Antonio Vivaldi - L'Estro Armonico OP. 3 (Concertos Nos. 9-12)(LP, Album, Promo) Decca, Gold Label Series DL 10072 US 1958 Sell This Version
LPA 1002 Antonio Vivaldi, Richard Schumacher (2) Antonio Vivaldi, Richard Schumacher (2) - Concerto F XII N. 13 / F XII N. 17 / F XII N. 4 / F XII N. 3(LP, Album) Angelicum LPA 1002 Italy 1958 Sell This Version