Antonio Vivaldi

Biography

Born: Mar 4, 1678; Italy   Died: Jul 28, 1741; Austria   Period: Baroque
The creator of hundreds of spirited, extroverted instrumental works, Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi is widely recognized as the master of the Baroque instrumental concerto, which he perfected and popularized more than any of his contemporaries. Vivaldi's kinetic rhythms, fluid melodies, bright instrumental effects, and extensions of instrumental technique make his some of the most enjoyable of Baroque music. He was highly influential among his Read more contemporaries and successors: even as esteemed a figure as Johann Sebastian Bach adapted some of Vivaldi's music. Vivaldi's variable textures and dramatic effects initiated the shift toward what became the Classical style; a deeper understanding of his music begins with the realization that, compared with Bach and even Handel, he was Baroque music's arch progressive. Though not as familiar as his concerti, Vivaldi's stage and choral music is still of value; his sometimes bouncy, sometimes lyrical Gloria in D major (1708) has remained a perennial favorite. His operas were widely performed in his own time.

Details regarding Vivaldi's early life are few. His father was a violinist in the Catherdral of Venice's orchestra and probably Antonio's first teacher. There is much speculation about other teachers, such as Corelli, but no evidence to support this. Vivaldi studied for the priesthood as a young man and was ordained in 1703. He was known for much of his career as "il prete rosso" (the red-haired priest), but soon after his ordination he declined to take on his ecclesiastical duties. Later in life he cited ill health as the reason, but other motivations have been proposed; perhaps Vivaldi simply wanted to explore new opportunties as a composer. It didn't take him long. Landing a job as a violin teacher at a girls' orphanage in Venice (where he would work in one capacity or another during several stretches of his life), he published a set of trio sonatas and another of violin sonatas. Word of his abilities spread around Europe, and in 1711 an Amsterdam publisher brought out, under the title L'estro armonico (Harmonic Inspiration), a set of Vivaldi's concertos for one or more violins with orchestra. These were best sellers (it was this group of concertos that spurred Bach's transcriptions), and Vivaldi followed them up with several more equally successful concerto sets. Perhaps the most prolific of all the great European composers, he once boasted that he could compose a concerto faster than a copyist could ready the individual parts for the players in the orchestra. He began to compose operas, worked from 1718 to 1720 in the court of the German principality of Hessen-Darmstadt, and traveled in Austria and perhaps Bohemia. Throughout his career, he had his choice of commissions from nobility and the highest members of society, the ability to use the best performers, and enough business savvy to try to control the publication of his works, although due to his popularity, many were published without his consent. Later in life Vivaldi was plagued by rumors of a sexual liaison with one of his vocal students, and he was censured by ecclesiastical authorities. His Italian career on the rocks, he headed for Vienna. He died there and was buried as a pauper in 1741, although at the height of his career his publications had earned a comfortable living. Read less

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons / Anne Akiko Meyers
Release Date: 02/04/2014   Label: eOne  
Catalog: 7790   Number of Discs: 1
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Vivaldi: The Unknown Gem / Viva Vivaldi
Release Date: 07/08/2014   Label: Centaur Records  
Catalog: 3299   Number of Discs: 1
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Boccherini, Vivaldi: Cello Concertos / Yuli Turovsky
Release Date: 10/28/1992   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 8408   Number of Discs: 1
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Vivaldi: Concerti Per Archi II / Alessandrini, Concerto Italiano
Release Date: 01/28/2014   Label: Naive  
Catalog: 30554   Number of Discs: 1
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Vivaldi, Piazzolla: 8 Seasons
Release Date: 07/08/2014   Label: Oehms  
Catalog: 429   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for Violin in E major, Op. 8 no 1/RV 269 "Primavera": 1st movement, Allegro

Browse 1-25 of 99 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    The Super Telarc Sound 1
    Label: Lim   Catalog: 60 Release Date: 01/15/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Georges Bizet,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Silverstein,  Liza Minnelli,  Joe Pass,  Ray Brown  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw,  Seiji Ozawa,  Leonard Slatkin,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
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  • 2.
    100 Best Chamber Music
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 972777 Release Date: 11/19/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Various,  Johann Pachelbel,  Henry Purcell,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Renaud Capuçon,  Emmanuel Pahud,  Natalie Clein,  Pinchas Zuckerman  ... 
    Conductor:  Jordi Savall,  Daniel Barenboim,  Fabio Biondi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Players,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Nash Ensemble  ... 
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  • 3.
    Albinoni: Adagio; Pachelbel: Canon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001703302 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Wolfgang Meyer,  Heinz Holliger,  Eric Wyrick,  Eric Bartlett  ... 
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock,  Rafael Kubelik,  Alexander Van Wijnkoop,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici
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  • 4.
    Great Classical Masterpieces: Bestselling Recordings 1987-2012
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578217 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hildegard of Bingen,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Carl Orff  ... 
    Performer:  Jénö Jandó,  Norbert Kraft,  Klára Körmendi,  Takako Nishizaki  ... 
    Conductor:  Jeremy Summerly,  István Bogár,  György Lehel,  Stephen Gunzenhauser  ... 
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  • 5.
    Dance Along
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55479 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Katia Labčque,  Marielle Labčque
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Herbert von Karajan,  Riccardo Muti  ... 
    CD: $7.99
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  • 6.
    My First Classical Music Album
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578203 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Antonio Vivaldi,  John Adams,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Takako Nishizaki,  Dong-Suk Kang,  Pascal Devoyon,  Jürgen Schuster  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Halász,  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Marin Alsop,  Mats Rondin  ... 
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  • 7.
    50 Greatest Pieces Of Classical Music / London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: X5 Music Group   Catalog: 105 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Performer:  Pieter Schoeman,  Finghin Collins,  Craig Ogden
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Pure... Classical
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 7915022 Release Date: 07/05/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  George Frideric Handel,  Arcangelo Corelli  ... 
    Performer:  Glenn Gould,  Alicia De Larrocha,  André Watts,  Anthony Newman  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Spivakov,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Robert Salter,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra,  Tafelmusik,  Brandenburg Collegium
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  • 9.
    Ultimate Wedding Collection [emi Classics]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27203 Release Date: 05/17/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  George Frideric Handel,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Markus Klinko,  Ian Brown,  Susan Tomes,  Frederic Bayco  ... 
    Conductor:  Reginald Kilbey,  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir David Willcocks,  Kenneth Montgomery  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble,  Taverner Players
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  • 10.
    50 Best Violin
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 48494 Release Date: 04/19/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Luigi Boccherini,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Leon Pommers,  Nathan Milstein,  Gidon Kremer  ... 
    Conductor:  Alberto Lysy,  Herbert von Karajan,  Efrem Kurtz,  Pierre Dervaux  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Europa Galante
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  • 11.
    Best Wedding 50
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 48501 Release Date: 04/19/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jeremiah Clarke,  Richard Wagner,  Giovanni Battist Martini,  Norwegian Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Jane Parker-Smith,  Maurice André,  Frederic Bayco,  Wayne Marshall  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir David Willcocks,  Kenneth Montgomery,  David Munrow  ... 
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  • 12.
    Springtime In The Park
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 96834 Release Date: 03/29/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Edvard Grieg,  Gabriel Fauré,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Philippe Collard,  Bruno Rigutto,  Gautier Capuçon,  Gérard Caussé  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean Martinon,  Felix Slatkin,  Paavo Berglund,  Wolfgang Sawallisch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sabine Meyer Wind Ensemble
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  • 13.
    Essential Violin
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 07154 Release Date: 02/15/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Jules Massenet,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Gidon Kremer,  Leonid Kogan  ... 
    Conductor:  Alberto Lysy,  Efrem Kurtz,  Herbert von Karajan,  Kiril Kondrashin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Virtuosi Italiani
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  • 14.
    Sunday Morning With Classical Strings
    Label: Shadow Mountain   Catalog: 5044703 Release Date: 12/28/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Christian Bach,  Franz Schubert,  Luigi Boccherini  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hein,  Friedemann Riehle
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  • 15.
    Essential Wedding
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27937 Release Date: 08/24/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Markus Klinko,  Piers Lane,  Tasmin Little,  Frederic Bayco  ... 
    Conductor:  Reginald Kilbey,  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir David Willcocks,  Kenneth Montgomery  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble,  Camerata Lysy,  Liverpool Cathedral & Brass Ensemble  ... 
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  • 16.
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 897375 Release Date: 08/17/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johannes Brahms,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Jane Gilby,  Dene Olding,  Max Olding,  Dimity Hall  ... 
    Conductor:  Geoffrey Lancaster,  Anthony Walker,  Shalom Ronly-Riklis,  Sebastian Lang-Lessing  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tasmanian Symphony Chamber Players
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  • 17.
    50 Best Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57517 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Gregorio Allegri,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Wayne Marshall,  David Bell,  Victoria de los Angeles,  Henriette Puig-Roget  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Franz Welser-Möst,  André Cluytens  ... 
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  • 18.
    50 Best Romantic Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57555 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Georges Bizet,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Jessye Norman,  Ann Murray,  Han-Na Chang,  Maria Callas  ... 
    Conductor:  Sylvain Cambreling,  Leonard Slatkin,  Georges Prętre,  Wolfgang Sawallisch  ... 
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  • 19.
    Essential Baroque
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 95429 Release Date: 02/23/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Pachelbel,  George Frideric Handel,  Tomaso Albinoni  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Gerald Finley,  George Malcolm,  William Bennett  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Stephen Cleobury,  Yehudi Menuhin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Lysy,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Early Music Consort of London  ... 
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  • 20.
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 1602752 Release Date: 01/19/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alessandro Marcello,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Pachelbel,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Diana Doherty,  John O'Donnell,  Yvonne Kenny,  Tommie Andersson  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Dyer,  Anthony Walker,  Albert Rosen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guitar Trek,  Chacona,  Ensemble Battistin
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  • 21.
    State Of The Art - The Story Of Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001341102 Release Date: 12/15/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin,  Gabriel Fauré,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Rafal Blechacz,  Kathleen Battle,  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Leonard Bernstein,  Pierre Boulez  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort,  Andalucian Dogs
    CD: $107.49
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  • 22.
    Classical Prep School - Essential Music
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80749 Release Date: 08/11/2009   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Richard Wagner,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  John O'Conor,  James Van Demark,  Rudolf Serkin,  Michael Chertock  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Bishop,  Yoel Levi,  Erich Kunzel,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Cincinnati Pops,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 23.
    James Galway - Celebrating 70: A Collection Of Personal Favorites
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 742201 Release Date: 07/28/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Albert Franz Doppler,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Elton John,  Henry Mancini  ... 
    Performer:  Phillip Moll,  Jeanne Galway,  James Galway,  Sarah Cunningham  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt,  Vincent Fanuele,  Henry Mancini,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Galway Pops Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 24.
    Best Wedding 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64262 Release Date: 06/16/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Claude Debussy,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Markus Klinko,  Ian Brown,  Christopher van Kampen,  Susan Tomes  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Reginald Kilbey,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Stephen Cleobury  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble,  Vienna String Sextet Members,  Ensemble Berlin  ... 
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  • 25.
    Best 100 Menuhin
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 98225 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Stéphane Grappelli,  Vincent Youmans,  George Gershwin,  Jacob Gade  ... 
    Performer:  Stéphane Grappelli,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Jan Blok,  John Etheridge  ... 
    Conductor:  Max Harris,  Andrzej Panufnik,  Pierre Boulez,  Sir Adrian Boult  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Menuhin Festival Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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