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Antonio Vivaldi
Featured on:
Vivaldi cdc 007
Perle del Barocco cdc 008
Perle/Paganini cdc 008/009
Scarlatti/Vivaldi cdc 006/007

Real Audio:
I Concerti delle Quattro Stagioni
L'Estate (Presto)
Many rumours and whispers in the gossip-filled Venice of those times ahout that Red Priest who does not say mass, that brother of two convicted felons, and always to he seen with that Annina (whom he always made the interpreter of his works), that "pupil of Vivaldi", certainly pretty - but "really without a fine voice", and then a mezzo soprano and not a contralto as Don Antonio always makes her! And all those theatre women who surround him! And the "Orfanelle"! And all the rest...
"Rumours and whispers", only "rumours and whispers", because Don Vivaldi as a teacher at the Hospital of the Holy Mary of Mercy "was beyond compare!" Those who were present at the concerts of his "Orfanelle", whom he taught and for whom he even composed music, declared that they could hear the angels sing. And as a concert musician? A "great player of the
violin". In a tourist guide of 1713 he was defined, together with Gio' Batta, as "one of the finest of violin players". The music expert Baron Von Uffemback listened to a performance of his at the Teatro Sant'Angelo in Venice in 1715 and exclaimed with enthusiasm: "towards the end Vivaldi presented us with a fantasia which astounded me. I don't think it had ever seen played he fore, and I don't think we will ever hear the like again."
And Vivaldi the composer? Bach, who certainly knew something about music, had a very high opinion of Vivaldi and referred to him on numerous occasions. It certainly comes as no surprise that the "red priest" passed into history wiih Domenico Scarlatti, Haendel and Bach as one of the four great figures who were to raise the curtain on the musical eighteenth century. But the popularity which Vivaldi enjoys today should not mislead us. His name fell from prominence he fore his death and only in recent decades, as a result of the research carried out hy German musical scholars, has Vivaldi come once again to the fore and his immense importance heen fully appreciated.
Most Vivaldi enthusiasts only know him as the author of concertos (over 460) and indeed in such works we encounter a figure of great historical moment and innovation, the promoter of new experiences. However his production as a composer extended to the whole range of musical forms: ahout ninety sonatas, twenty-one symphonies, fifty operas, seventy singles arias, forty-nine non-reli-gious cantatas, sixty religious compositions for the human voice, and the list by no means stops there.

1678 (4 march) Born in Venice to Giovanni Battista. a barber and violinist at the Chapel of St. Mark's. and to Camilla Calicchio.
1693 Ordained to the first of the minor religious orders. Thereafter, until 1770, the "Violinista Aggiunto" of the St. Mach's orchestra.
1703 Vivaldi ordained priest. In September appointed Master Violin of the Hospital (Consevatory) of S. Maria della Pieta with the salary office ducats a month.
1705 "Opera 1: Sonate da Camera a Tre" is pubblished in Venice (evident traces of the Corellian style).
1706 Exonerated from saying mass on grounds of health.
1709 "Opera 2. Dodici Sornate per Violino" published in Venice.
1711 Vivaldi obtains a permanent position at S. Maria della Pieta'.
1712 "L'Estro Armonico, Opera 3," and "La Stravagansa, Opera 4" published in Amsterdam.
1713 His first opera "Ottone in Villa" performed in Venice.
1715 Vivaldi in Mantova in the service of Prince Filippo di Hesse Darmstadt as Chapel and Chamber Master until 1720.
1721 - 1725 In Rome where he has contacts with Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni. "Ercole sul Termodonte" presented at the Teatro Capranica. "Opera 8: Il Cismento dell'Armonia e dell'Invenzione" (which includes The Four Seasons") is published.
1726 - 1730 The composition and publication of various works including "Orlando - (Furioso)". "Opera 9: La Cetra" In addition, probably, "Stabat Mater".
1735 The first meeting with Carlo Goldoni with whom he works on the operas "Griselda" and "Aristide"
1737 His entrance into Ferrara forbidden by Cardinal Ruffo because be was a "priest who frequented harlots" (and this because of Annina, Anna Giro' or Giraud).
1740 His name no longer to be found amongst those receiving salaries from the Ospedale della Pieta' (the last entry is for 29 August). Moved from Venice to Vienna.
1741 (28 July) Death in Vienna from "internal inflammation" and burial in the pau-pers" graveyard. Pietro Gradenigo, a Venetian aristocrat, wrote the following epitaph:
Abbot Don Antonio Vivaldi, incomparable player of the violin, known as the Red Priest, highly esteemed for his compositions arid concertos, earned during his days more than fifty thousand ducats, but because of his immoderate extravagance he died poor in Vienna.

© P&P - Promozione e Produzione, Rome.