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, Mozart & Saint-Saens: Works for Bassoon / Krasavin
Release Date: 07/08/2016   Label: Melodiya  
Catalog: 1002355   Number of Discs: 1
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Vivaldi: La Cetra – 12 Violin Concertos, Op. 9 / Guglielmo, L'Arte dell'Arco
Release Date: 07/29/2016   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 5067353   Number of Discs: 2
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Handel & Vivaldi: Notte di tempesta / Baroccade, Meghnagi, Kribus
Release Date: 07/29/2016   Label: Fra Bernardo  
Catalog: FB1604372   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for 2 Violins in A minor, Op. 3 no 8/RV 522

Browse 51-59 of 59 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Vivaldi: Violin Concertos / Pinnock, Standage, Et Al
    Label: Dg Archiv Masters   Catalog: 447284 Release Date: 01/02/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Trevor Pinnock,  Simon Standage,  Elizabeth Wilcock,  Micaela Comberti  ... 
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert
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  • 52.
    Vivaldi: L'estro Armonico / Marriner, Academy Of St Martin
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 443476 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Martin Gatt,  Celia Nicklin,  Neil Black,  Timothy Brown  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 53.
    Italian Concerti Grossi / Krchek, Capella Istropolitana
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550877 Release Date: 06/28/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alessandro Scarlatti,  Francesco Geminiani,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Francesco Manfredini  ... 
    Conductor:  Jaroslav Krcek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana
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  • 54.
    Vivaldi: L'estro Armonico
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550160 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Anna Hölbling,  Quido Hölbling,  Jozef Podhoransky,  Peter Baran  ... 
    Conductor:  Josef Kopelman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana
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  • 55.
    Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
    Label: Sony Classical Infinity Digital   Catalog: 57243 Release Date: 02/08/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Igor Romanyuk,  Vladislav Gluz
    Conductor:  Alexander Titov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Classic Music Studio Orchestra
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  • 56.
    Documents - David And Igor Oistrakh Vol 1 - Bach, Vivaldi
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 2130 Release Date: 02/01/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 57.
    Vivaldi: Le Quattro Stagione / Peabody, Kapp, Philharmonia
    Label: Ess.a.y Recordings   Catalog: 1001 Release Date: 01/28/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Richard Rood,  Bonnie Hartman,  Edward Brewer,  Paul Peabody
    Conductor:  Richard Kapp
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Virtuosi
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  • 58.
    Bach, Vivaldi: Violin Concertos / Zukerman, Sillito
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 48273 Release Date: 11/17/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Kenneth Sillito
    Conductor:  Pinchas Zukerman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic members,  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 59.
    Label: Tactus   Catalog: TC672201 Release Date: 01/01/1988   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Fabio Biondi,  Paolo Pandolfo,  Rosa Segreto,  Maurizio Naddeo  ... 
    Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
    CD: $17.99
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