Biography of Antonio Vivaldi | composer and violinist.

(Antonio Lucio Vivaldi; Venice, 1678 - 1741 Vienna) composer and violinist whose abundant work concert exerted a decisive influence on historical developments that led to the consolidation of the Symphony. Igor Stravinsky said on one occasion that Vivaldi had not never written five hundred concerts, but "five hundred times the same concert». No longer true in what concerns the original and unmistakable tone than the Venetian composer was able to print to your music and which makes it quickly recognizable.

Antonio Vivaldi
Prolific author, the production of Vivaldi includes not only the concertante genre, but also abundant Chamber music, vocal and operatic. Famous above all for its four concertos for violin and Orchestra gathered under the title seasons, whose fame has eclipsed other works equally valuable, if not more, Vivaldi is one of the greatest composers of the Baroque, driving period of the so-called Venetian school (which also belonged Tommaso Albinoni and Benedetto and Alessandro Marcello brothers) and comparable by the quality and originality of his contribution, his contemporaries Bach and Handel.
Little is known of the childhood of Vivaldi. Son of the violinist Giovanni Battista Vivaldi, Antonio small is started in the world of music probably at the hands of his father. Oriented toward an ecclesiastical career, he was ordained a priest in 1703, although only a year later was forced to give up celebrating mass from a bronchial disease, possibly asthma.
In 1703 he joined as Professor of violin at the Pio Ospedale della Pietà, an institution dedicated to the musical education of orphan girls. Linked for many years to it, many of his compositions were interpreted for the first time by his female Orchestra. In this context saw the light his first works, as the Suonate da camera Op. 1, published in 1705, and twelve concerts that make up the collection L'estro armonico Op. 3, published in Amsterdam in 1711.
Even when such compositions are still forms of the "concerto grosso", the vivacity and the fantasy of the invention now exceed any scheme and witnessed a trend determined towards the individualistic conception, and therefore the concert soloist, which is better defined in twelve concerts of the stravaganza, Op. 4: structure in three movements (allegro-adagio-allegro) composition, light and fast, almost exclusively homophonic, and modulation, dynamic and expressive, inclined to development of the creative process and source of new emotions and inventions.
With these collections, Antonio Vivaldi reached soon renowned throughout the Italian territory, from where its name was extended to the rest of the European continent, and not only as a composer, but also, and not least, as a violinist, as it was one of the largest of its time. Suffice it to observe the difficulties of parties soloists of his concerts or his Chamber sonatas to warn the technical level of the musician in this field.

Known and applied, the opera, the only genus that guaranteed benefits to composers of the era, it also attracted the attention of Vivaldi, while its ecclesiastical status prevented him in principle deal with a show considered too mundane and little uplifting. In fact, his superiors always reproached to Vivaldi little dedication to the cult and its lax customs.
Immersed in the theatrical composer and entrepreneur, Ottone in Villa (1713) was the first of the operas of Vivaldi's news. She was followed by titles such as Orlando furioso, Armida Al Campo d'Egitto, Tito Manlio and L'olimpiade, today day only sporadically represented.
The fame of the musician reached the peak in the meridian of life with the publication of his most important instrumental collections: Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op. 8 and cetra Op. 9. The first collection, published in Amsterdam in 1725, contained a total of twelve concerts and began with the set of four concerts with violin soloist entitled the four seasons, the best of the collection and the most famous of his work.
The four seasons
The four seasons, Vivaldi demonstrates not only the semantic power of music, but also his ability to create sound, at once evocative and intimist climates. The work describes the annual cycle of nature, men working it and the animals that inhabit it. Each of the four concerts developed musically the sonnet by an unknown author that precedes it, whose verses draws a square of the station. Thus, spring, following what is represented in the sonnet, imitates the singing of the birds and the temporal; and the descriptive effort reaches details such as represented through the solo violin to the pastor who sleeps, while remaining violins imitating the murmur of plants and viola the dog's bark.
Summer first describes the stupor of nature under the aridity of the Sun and then a storm, already announced in the first movement and reaches the maximum of violence at the end. Autumn seems presided over by the God Bacchus; the composer presents the soporific intoxication of a villager, happy harvest; then, at dawn, part Hunter with their horns and their dogs in search of prey. Predominate sound images of snow and ice in the winter .
The popularity of this work goes back to the same time of its creation. Especially of the first concert, the spring, quickly circulated in France handwritten copies, arrangements and imitations. But at the end of 1730 the Venetian public began to show less interest in their music, so Vivaldi decided to in 1741 to try his luck in Vienna, where he died a month after his arrival in absolute poverty.
Fallen into oblivion after his death, the rediscovery of Vivaldi did not take place until the 20th century, thanks to the music of Bach, who transcribed had twelve concertos Vivaldi to different instruments. The interest by the German musician was precisely that solo paved the way towards the knowledge of an artist skilled in end, prolific as few and one of the architects of the evolution of the concert as we know it today.
After the second world war, just two decades after starting recovery and dissemination of its work, Vivaldi became one of the most performed authors in the world. Despite the sad end of the composer and the long period of oblivion, the Vivaldi work contributed, through Bach, to lay the foundations of what would become the music of the masters of classicism, especially in France, and consolidate the structure of the concert soloist.
Extracted from the website: Biografías y Vidas
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