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 / Bosgraaf, Ensemble Cordevento
Release Date: 01/28/2014   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94637   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: The Four Seasons / Anne Akiko Meyers
Release Date: 02/04/2014   Label: eOne  
Catalog: 7790   Number of Discs: 1
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Vivaldi: Recorder Concertos / Laurin, Drottningholm Baroque
Release Date: 12/07/1993   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 635   Number of Discs: 1
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Vivaldi: Sonate Da Camera A Tre Op 1 /Medlam, London Baroque
Release Date: 09/19/2000   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1025/26   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Concerto for Violin in F minor, Op. 8 no 4/RV 297 "L'inverno": 2nd movement, Largo

Browse 1-25 of 118 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Classical Wellness: Musical Tonics For Mind, Body And Spirit
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3464 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Henri Vieuxtemps,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Wolseley Charles,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Performer:  Dmitry Khakhamov,  Oleg Sergeev,  Grant Gershon,  John Aler  ... 
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian,  James DePreist,  Gerard Schwarz,  Anatoly Lapunov  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Style of Five,  The Russian Folk Ensemble Balalaika,  Brazilian Guitar Quartet  ... 
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  • 2.
    Classical Chamomile
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 1629 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Antonín Dvorák,  Alan Hovhaness,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Elmar Oliveira,  Douglas Davis,  Zuill Bailey,  Carol Rosenberger  ... 
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz,  David Wiley,  Constantine Orbelian,  Aldo Parisot
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Shanghai Quartet,  Yale Cellos
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  • 3.
    Label: Sounds True   Catalog: 3915 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Robert Schumann,  Claude Debussy,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Lisa Spector
    CD: $16.99
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  • 4.
    Mother And Child: Lullabies The Whole World Loves
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 3734356 Release Date: 04/23/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Enrico Toselli,  Alois Melichar,  Stephen Foster,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  André Rieu,  Suzan Erens,  Kimmy Skota,  Mirusia Louwerse  ... 
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  • 5.
    Top 50 Favourite Classical Chillout Tunes
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94659 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Antonín Dvorák,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Klára Würtz,  Sara Crombach,  Wladislav Warenberg,  Alexander Goldenweiser  ... 
    Conductor:  Dirk Vermeulen,  Paavo Järvi,  Roy Goodman,  Gil Sharon  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prima La Musica,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Hanover Band  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 6.
    Yo-Yo Ma Plays Great Cello Masterworks
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5438572 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Edouard Lalo,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Sir William Walton  ... 
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Margaret Faultless,  Emanuel Ax
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  André Previn,  José L. Garcia,  Pinchas Zukerman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 7.
    50 Best Chillout Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 332942 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Gregorio Allegri,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Gerald Finley,  Juliette Hurel,  Emmanuel Pahud,  Christopher Warren-Green  ... 
    Conductor:  Maurice Handford,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Stephen Cleobury,  Yannick Nézet-Séguin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Ahn Trio,  Twelve Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 8.
    Label: Avalon   Catalog: 57227 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Francesco Sartori,  Pietro Mascagni,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Nick Lucchese,  Attila Darvas,  Igor Romanyk,  Jerry Caringi  ... 
    Conductor:  Constantine Kremetz
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  • 9.
    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 Zukerman  ... 
    Conductor:  Jordi Savall,  Daniel Barenboim,  Fabio Biondi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Players,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Nash Ensemble  ... 
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  • 10.
    Musical Advent Calendar: Jubilaums-edition
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93291 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Andreas Hammerschmidt,  George Frideric Handel,  Jill Nordin,  Astor Piazzolla  ... 
    Performer:  Andreas Bongard
    Conductor:  Jan Schumacher
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mainz Chamber Choir,  Novas Brass,  Lingenfeld Gospel Choir  ... 
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  • 11.
    Stillpoint / Adagio Trio
    Label: Adagio Trio   Catalog: 5637197395 Release Date: 07/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Traditional,  Joseph Hadar,  Abraham Kaplan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Adagio Trio
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  • 12.
    Weddings From The Harp
    Label: Harp Music To Go   Catalog: 8907 Release Date: 11/22/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Richard Wagner,  Jeremiah Clarke,  Jean Joseph Mouret  ... 
    Performer:  Merry Miller
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  • 13.
    Label: X5 Music Group   Catalog: 109 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Pietro Mascagni,  Claude Debussy,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Finghin Collins,  Craig Ogden,  Pieter Schoeman,  Peter Schmalfuss  ... 
    Conductor:  Heribert Beissel,  David Parry,  Ilmar Lapinsch,  Klaus Arp  ... 
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  • 14.
    Vivaldi: Best Loved Adagios
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 84030 Release Date: 08/23/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Philippe Jaroussky,  Janet See,  David Daniels,  Patrizia Ciofi  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean-Christophe Spinosi,  Andrew Parrott,  Fabio Biondi,  Christopher Warren-Green  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Matheus,  Taverner Players,  Europa Galante
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  • 15.
    Maurice Andre Edition: Suites, Dances And Arrangements
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 4676062 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Traditional,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Jean-Michel Defaye  ... 
    Performer:  Gus Wallez,  Wolfgang Karius,  Maurice André,  Guy Pedersen  ... 
    Conductor:  Claude Pichaureau,  Marc Soustrot,  François Rauber,  Claude Lagrange  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonie Municipale D'alès,  Ensemble of Bologna,  Ensemble De Cuivres De Paris  ... 
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  • 16.
    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
    CD: $12.99
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  • 17.
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 764056 Release Date: 12/21/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Franz Xaver Gruber  ... 
    Performer:  Yvonne Kenny,  Andreas Scholl,  Sara Macliver,  Belinda Montgomery  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Dyer
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  • 18.
    Best Of Classics - Bach, Beethoven, Strauss, Vivaldi, Dvorak, Chopin, Mozart
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4013 Release Date: 10/26/2010   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonín Dvorák,  Leos Janácek  ... 
    Performer:  Jiri Reinberger,  Jan Kalfus,  Miroslav Kejmar,  Zuzana Ruzicková  ... 
    Conductor:  Bohumil Kulínsky,  Jaroslav Krcek,  Milan Munclinger,  Josef Vlach  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Children's Chorus,  Musica Bohemica,  Ars Rediviva  ... 
    CD: $54.49
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  • 19.
    Best Film 50
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 31673 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  James Horner  ... 
    Performer:  Ernest Blanc,  Nicolai Gedda,  Gérard Caussé,  Augustin Dumay  ... 
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt,  Mariss Jansons,  Richard Hickox,  David Abel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 20.
    Essential Relaxing Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27930 Release Date: 08/24/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Cécile Ousset,  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Hugh Bean  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Alberto Lysy,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Simon Rattle  ... 
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  • 21.
    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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  • 22.
    Vivaldi's Cello / Yo-Yo Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 756157 Release Date: 07/20/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Margaret Faultless
    Conductor:  Ton Koopman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
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  • 23.
    50 Best Adagios
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57489 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Johann Pachelbel,  Gregorio Allegri,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Giovanni Scaramuzzino,  Véronique Gens,  David Daniels,  Steven Isserlis  ... 
    Conductor:  Ian Watson,  Andrew Parrott,  Christopher Warren-Green,  Fabio Biondi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Players,  Taverner Consort,  Seminario Musicale  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 24.
    50 Classical Music Favorites
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001388102 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Luigi Boccherini,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Heinz Holliger,  Italo Colandrea,  Antonio Perez,  Michael Copley  ... 
    Conductor:  Frans Brüggen,  Sir Colin Davis,  Kurt Masur,  Silvio Varviso  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici
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  • 25.
    Essential Adagios
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 88576 Release Date: 02/23/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Jules Massenet,  Joaquin Rodrigo  ... 
    Performer:  Dmitri Alexeev,  Hans Kalafusz,  Julian Bream,  Han-Na Chang  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Jerzy Maksymiuk,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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