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
Amor Sacro - Vivaldi: Mottetti / Simone Kermes
Release Date: 02/13/2007   Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)  
Catalog: 000823702   Number of Discs: 1
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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: Dixit Dominus / Mingardo, Agnew, Kopp
Release Date: 06/13/2006   Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)  
Catalog: 000649402   Number of Discs: 1
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Vivaldi: Four Seasons; Pachelbel, Bach / Carney, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 03/10/2009   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28090   Number of Discs: 1
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Vivaldi: Opera & Oratorio Arias / Kozena, Marcon, Venice Baroque Orchestra
Release Date: 02/09/2010   Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)  
Catalog: 001395602   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for 4 Violins and Cello in B minor, Op. 3 no 10/RV 580

Browse 76-82 of 82 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Vivaldi: The Four Seasons / Jeanne Lamon, Tafelmusik
    Label: Sony Classical Vivarte Series   Catalog: 48251 Release Date: 11/17/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Jeanne Lamon
    Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
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  • 77.
    Vivaldi: Guitar Concertos / Los Romeros
    Label: Philips Concert Classics   Catalog: 426076 Release Date: 07/01/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Celedonio Romero,  Celin Romero,  Pepe Romero,  Angel Romero  ... 
    Conductor:  Victor Alessandro
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Antonio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 78.
    Albinoni: Adagio; Pachelbel: Canon; etc / Orpheus CO
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 429390 Release Date: 01/18/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Henry Purcell,  Arcangelo Corelli  ... 
    Performer:  Randall Wolfgang,  Eric Bartlett,  Joanna Jenner,  Erika Sato  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
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  • 79.
    Vivaldi: Concertos / Marriner, Academy Of St Martin In The Fields
    Label: London/Decca Serenata Series   Catalog: 425721 Release Date: 11/10/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Philip Jones,  John Wilbraham,  Carmel Kaine,  Robin Davis  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 80.
    Vivaldi: Guitar Concertos / Los Romeros, Brown, Asmf
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 412624 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Celedonio Romero,  Angel Romero,  Pepe Romero,  Celin Romero
    Conductor:  Iona Brown
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Los Romeros
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  • 81.
    Omaggio a Stradivari - Vivaldi: Four Seasons / Accardo
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 422065 Release Date: 09/20/1988   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo
    Conductor:  Salvatore Accardo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti di Napoli
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