Monday, March 4, 2013


Antonio Lucio Vivaldi

(4 March 1678 – 28 July 1741)
il Prete Rosso ("The Red Priest") 

This innovative Italian Baroque composer and violinist was known as the Red Priest because of his fiery red hair.  When he was born in Venice, he was baptized immediately perhaps because there was an earthquake that day.  He learned violin from his father Giovanni Battista Vivaldi and went into the priesthood at the age of fifteen, being ordained ten years later.  His asthma kept him from performing Mass; but he remained a priest.  He started working as maestro di violino (master of violin) at an orphanage called the Pio Ospedale della Pietà (Devout Hospital of Mercy) in Venice.  He spent thirty years there teaching music to the girls there and building the reputation of the school's orchestra and choir.  Vivaldi also began his career as an opera composer as a sideline during this time.  He took a position as Maestro di Cappella for prince Philip of Hesse-Darmstadt, governor of Mantua, during which time he composed his most famous work, Le quattro stagioni concertos.  He received commissions from the nobility of Europe, which led him to make the move to Vienna later in life.  His patron Charles VI died shortly after he arrived there, leaving Vivaldi destitute.  He died of an internal infection shortly after.  Vivaldi composed over five hundred concertos, forty-six operas, and ninety sonatas; as well as numerous sacred choral works.  

The Four Seasons (Le quattro stagioni)

Gloria. RV 589

La Costanza Trionfante  RV 706-A


Concerti 1-12, Op. 9 "La Cetra"

Dixit Dominus RV807

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