Antonio Vivaldi
Antonio Vivaldi was born in Venice on March 4th,
1678. Through ordained a priest in 1703, according to his
own account, within a year of being ordained Vivaldi no
longer wished to celebrate mass because physical
complaints ?tightness of the chest? which pointed to
asthmatic bronchitis, or a nervous disorder. It is also
possible that Vivaldi was faking his illness. There is a
story that he sometimes left the alter to jot down a musical
idea. He had became a priest against his own will, because
priesthood was often the only way possible for a poor
family to obtain free schooling.
Vavaldi wrote many memorable concertos, such as
the Four seasons and the opus 3, he also wrote many
works for students. People and students still play these
pieces all over the world. Vavaldi was employed for most
of his working life by by the Ospedale della Pieta. Often
termed orphanage, this Ospedale was in fact a home for the
female offspring of noblemen and their numerous dalliance
with their mistresses. Many of Vavaldi?s concerti were
indeed exercises which he would play whith his many
talented pupils.
Vavaldi?s relationship wth the Ospedale began right
after his ordination in 1703, when he was named as the
violin teacher there. Until 1709, Vavaldi?s appointment
was renewed every year and again and after 1711. They
think between 1709 and 1711 Vivaldi was not attached to
the Ospedale. They think he might started working for the
Teatro Sant? Anngelo an opera theater. He was still was a
composer though, in 1711 twelve of his concertos were
written and and published in Amsterdam.
In 1713 Vavaldi was given a months leave from the
Ospedale to stage his first opera, it was called Ottone in
ville. He did this opera in Vicenza. He produced another
opera in the period between 1713 and 1714.
Thse highest part of Vavaldi?s life was the end of
1716. In November he managed to have the Ospedale
perform his great oratorio, it was called the Juditha
Triumphans devicta Holofernis barbaric. This piece was
about the victory of the Christians over the Turks in August
of 1716.
Vavaldi Moved to Mantua in the late 1717 for two
years in order to take up his post as Chamber Kapellmeister
at the court of Landgrave Philips van Hessen Darmstadt.
His task there was to provide operas, cantatas, and perhaps
concert music, too.
Vavaldi in 1720 returned to Venice where he again
staged new operas that he wrote himself. In Mantua he had
met a singer by the name of Anna Giraud, she moved in
with him Vavaldi said that she was just a housekeeper and
agreat friend, just like her sister, Paolina, who also moved
Anna Giraud was young, born in Venice. She was
daughter to French wigmaker. She was?nt beautiful,
though she was elegant, a small women with beatiful eyes
and a fascinating mouth. She had a very small voice, but
she could speak many languages. Vivaldi taught her how
to sing and stayed with her until he died.
Vavaldi wrote works for commission from foreign
rulers, such as the frech king, Louis XV. He serenaded La
Sena festeggiante at the festival of the Seine. The bad
thing is that they can not date this music, but they know it
was written after 1720.
In rome Vavaldi found a patron in the person of
Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, a great music lover, who earlier
had been the patron of Arcangelo Corelli. Vavldi himself
was asked by the pope to play the violin for him at a private
audience. He totally loved it, it also was a great time in his
Despite his stay in Rome and other cities, Vivaldi
remained in the service of the Ospedale della Pieta, he was
nominated the Maestro di Concerti. He had to send two
concertos per month to veniceand he received a ducat per
concerto. His presence was never required. He also
remained dictator of the Teatro Sant Angelo, as he did in
the 1726, 7 and 8 seasons.
Between 1725 and 1728 eight opera were made by
Vavaldi. In three months Vavaldi composed three operas,
two for Venice and one for florence. During these years
Vavaldi also extremely active in the field of Concertos. In
1725 the publication of Il Cimento dell?Armenia e
dell?invenzione and opus 8, appeared in Amsterdam. this
consisted of twelve concertos, seven of which were
descriptive: The Four Seasons, Storm at Sea, Pleasure and
The Hunt. Vivaldi transformed the tradition of descriptive
music into a typically Italian musical style with its
unmistakable timbre in which the strings play a big role.
These concetos were enormously successful,
particulary in france. In the second half of the 18th century
there were changes in the Spring concerto. King Louis was
mad about the change and ordered it to be performed at the
most unexpected moments. Moreover, Vivaldi received
various commisions for compsitions