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

Baroque Collection - Handel, Vivaldi, Bach, Pachelbel, Et Al
Release Date: 09/29/1992   Label: Emi Classics  
Catalog: 67425   Number of Discs: 2
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Vivaldi: Concerti da Camera / Collegium Pro Musica
Release Date: 09/25/2012   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94332   Number of Discs: 3
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Vivaldi: The Four Seasons / Bosgraaf, Ensemble Cordevento
Release Date: 01/28/2014   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94637   Number of Discs: 1
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Vivaldi: Il Teuzzone / Volta, Pagano, Barazzoni, Piccini
Release Date: 07/17/2007   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 93351   Number of Discs: 3
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Vivaldi: Missae & Vesperae / Kaljuste, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Release Date: 08/28/2012   Label: Carus  
Catalog: 83325   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: The Four Seasons

Browse 1-25 of 279 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Vivaldi: The Four Seasons [25th Anniversary Luxury Edition]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 628814 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
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  • 2.
    Vivaldi, Piazzolla: 8 Seasons
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 429 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Astor Piazzolla,  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Sinn Yang,  Harald Oeler
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  • 3.
    The Argo Years / Neville Marriner, Academy Of St Martin In The Fields [28-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002081902 Release Date: 06/03/2014   Number of Discs: 28
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Giuseppe Torelli,  Pietro Antonio Locatelli  ... 
    Performer:  Gwynne Howell,  Philip Langridge,  Anna Reynolds,  Elly Ameling  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chorus,  Philip Jones Brass Ensemble
    CD: $163.49
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  • 4.
    Karajan And His Soloists, Vol. 2 (1969-1984)
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633624 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Jules Massenet,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Alexis Weissenberg,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris
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  • 5.
    Vivaldi: The Four Seasons / Debretzeni, Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 377 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Kati Debretzeni
    Conductor:  Kati Debretzeni
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
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  • 6.
    Michala Petri Plays Concertos & Sonatas
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 7672632 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Giuseppe Sammartini,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Michala Petri,  Keith Jarrett,  Elizabeth Selin
    Conductor:  Claudio Scimone,  Vladimir Spivakov,  George Malcolm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra,  Guildhall String Ensemble
    CD: $14.99
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  • 7.
    Vivaldi: The Four Seasons / Janine Jansen [blu-ray audio]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001993546 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Maarten Jansen,  Candida Thompson,  Henk Rubingh,  Julian Rachlin  ... 
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  • 8.
    Vivaldi: The Four Seasons / Anne Akiko Meyers
    Label: eOne   Catalog: 7790 Release Date: 02/04/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Arvo Pärt
    Performer:  Anne Akiko Meyers
    Conductor:  David Lockington
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Vivaldi: The Four Seasons / Bosgraaf, Ensemble Cordevento
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94637 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Erik Bosgraaf
    Conductor:  Erik Bosgraaf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cordevento
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  • 10.
    Carlo Maria Giulini: The Concerto Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 31761 Release Date: 12/03/2013   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Alexis Weissenberg,  Manoug Parikian,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Itzhak Perlman  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Das Alte Werk - 50-CD Collection
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 46438 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Orlando Gibbons  ... 
    Performer:  Herbert Tachezi,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Frans Brüggen,  Jeannette Van Wingerden  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Werner Ehrhardt,  Giovanni Antonini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus,  Leonhardt Consort,  Studio for Early Music  ... 
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  • 12.
    Vivaldi: Concerti [2013]
    Label: Phil.harmonie   Catalog: 6027 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Rainer Kussmaul,  Georg Faust,  Wolfram Christ
    Conductor:  Rainer Kussmaul
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Baroque Soloists
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  • 13.
    Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
    Label: Hi. Q   Catalog: 25 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  John Toll,  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Itzhak Perlman
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  • 14.
    Berlin Philharmonic - Centenary Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001923302 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Walter Berry,  Gundula Janowitz,  Hilde Rössl-Majdan  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Nikisch,  Alfred Hertz,  Richard Strauss,  Bruno Walter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Swedish Radio Chorus  ... 
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  • 15.
    Precious Baroque - Bach: Brandenburg Concertos; Vivaldi: Four Seasons
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300534 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Enrico Casazza
    Conductor:  Pieter-Jan Belder
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Magnifica Comunitŕ,  Musica Amphion
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  • 16.
    Vivaldi: Le Quattro Stagioni; La Follia
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 14001 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Conductor:  Riccardo Favero
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oficina Musicum
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  • 17.
    Karajan - 1970s
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001873702 Release Date: 09/03/2013   Number of Discs: 82
    Composer:  Arcangelo Corelli,  Francesco Manfredini,  Pietro Antonio Locatelli,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Brandis,  Michel Schwalbé,  Karlheinz Zöller,  Edith Mathis  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Hans Priem Bergrath
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus  ... 
    CD: $313.99
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  • 18.
    8cho Estaciones - Vivaldi, Piazzolla / Danowicz
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 904 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Astor Piazzolla,  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Christian Danowicz,  Aleksandra Rupocinska,  Marcin Misiak
    Conductor:  Christian Danowicz
    CD: $19.99
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  • 19.
    Vivaldi / Richard Galliano
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001870802 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Sebastien Surel,  Richard Galliano,  Jean-Marc Phillips-Varjabédian,  Jean-Marc Apap  ... 
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  • 20.
    Vivaldi: The Four Seasons / Fabio Biondi, L'europa Galante
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 40018 Release Date: 08/06/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Fabio Biondi
    Conductor:  Fabio Biondi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Europa Galante
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  • 21.
    Vivaldi The Four Seasons
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1160 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Johann Pachelbel,  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Jaime Laredo
    Conductor:  Jaime Laredo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Sarah Chang: 5 Classic Albums
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 844172 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Sergei Prokofiev,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Sarah Chang,  Lars Vogt,  Wolfram Christ,  Georg Faust  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Sir Colin Davis,  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Vivaldi, Piazzola: 4 Seasons
    Label: Connector   Catalog: 11 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Astor Piazzolla
    Performer:  Aniello Desiderio
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quartetto Furioso
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  • 24.
    A Musical Journey: The Four Seasons - Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Scotland
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 2110329 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
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  • 25.
    Vivaldi: Le Quattro Stagioni; Concertos, Rv 454 & 332
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 2564647630 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Enrico Onofri,  Paolo Grazzi
    Conductor:  Giovanni Antonini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Giardino Armonico
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