Perle del Barocco cdc
Perle/Paganini cdc 008/009
Scarlatti/Vivaldi cdc 006/007
Concerti delle Quattro Stagioni
Many rumours and whispers in the gossip-filled Venice
of those times ahout that Red Priest who does not
say mass, that brother of two convicted felons,
and always to he seen with that Annina (whom he
always made the interpreter of his works), that
"pupil of Vivaldi", certainly pretty -
but "really without a fine voice", and
then a mezzo soprano and not a contralto as Don
Antonio always makes her! And all those theatre
women who surround him! And the "Orfanelle"!
And all the rest...
and whispers", only "rumours and whispers",
because Don Vivaldi as a teacher at the Hospital
of the Holy Mary of Mercy "was beyond compare!"
Those who were present at the concerts of his "Orfanelle",
whom he taught and for whom he even composed music,
declared that they could hear the angels sing. And
as a concert musician? A "great player of the
In a tourist guide of 1713 he was defined, together
with Gio' Batta, as "one of the finest of violin
players". The music expert Baron Von Uffemback
listened to a performance of his at the Teatro Sant'Angelo
in Venice in 1715 and exclaimed with enthusiasm: "towards
the end Vivaldi presented us with a fantasia which astounded
me. I don't think it had ever seen played he fore, and
I don't think we will ever hear the like again."
Vivaldi the composer? Bach, who certainly knew something
about music, had a very high opinion of Vivaldi and
referred to him on numerous occasions. It certainly
comes as no surprise that the "red priest"
passed into history wiih Domenico
Scarlatti, Haendel and Bach as one of the four
great figures who were to raise the curtain on the musical
eighteenth century. But the popularity which Vivaldi
enjoys today should not mislead us. His name fell from
prominence he fore his death and only in recent decades,
as a result of the research carried out hy German musical
scholars, has Vivaldi come once again to the fore and
his immense importance heen fully appreciated.
Vivaldi enthusiasts only know him as the author of concertos
(over 460) and indeed in such works we encounter a figure
of great historical moment and innovation, the promoter
of new experiences. However his production as a composer
extended to the whole range of musical forms: ahout
ninety sonatas, twenty-one symphonies, fifty operas,
seventy singles arias, forty-nine non-reli-gious cantatas,
sixty religious compositions for the human voice,
and the list by no means stops there.
march) Born in Venice to Giovanni Battista. a barber
and violinist at the Chapel of St. Mark's. and to
to the first of the minor religious orders. Thereafter,
until 1770, the "Violinista Aggiunto"
of the St. Mach's orchestra.
ordained priest. In September appointed Master Violin
of the Hospital (Consevatory) of S. Maria della
Pieta with the salary office ducats a month.
1: Sonate da Camera a Tre" is pubblished in
Venice (evident traces of the Corellian style).
from saying mass on grounds of health.
2. Dodici Sornate per Violino" published in
obtains a permanent position at S. Maria della Pieta'.
Armonico, Opera 3," and "La Stravagansa,
Opera 4" published in Amsterdam.
first opera "Ottone in Villa" performed
in Mantova in the service of Prince Filippo di Hesse
Darmstadt as Chapel and Chamber Master until 1720.
Rome where he has contacts with Cardinal Pietro
Ottoboni. "Ercole sul Termodonte" presented
at the Teatro Capranica. "Opera 8: Il Cismento
dell'Armonia e dell'Invenzione" (which includes
The Four Seasons") is published.
composition and publication of various works including
"Orlando - (Furioso)". "Opera 9:
La Cetra" In addition, probably, "Stabat
first meeting with Carlo Goldoni with whom he works
on the operas "Griselda" and "Aristide"
entrance into Ferrara forbidden by Cardinal Ruffo
because be was a "priest who frequented harlots"
(and this because of Annina, Anna Giro' or Giraud).
name no longer to be found amongst those receiving
salaries from the Ospedale della Pieta' (the last
entry is for 29 August). Moved from Venice to Vienna.
July) Death in Vienna from "internal inflammation"
and burial in the pau-pers" graveyard. Pietro
Gradenigo, a Venetian aristocrat, wrote the following
Abbot Don Antonio Vivaldi, incomparable player
of the violin, known as the Red Priest, highly esteemed
for his compositions arid concertos, earned during
his days more than fifty thousand ducats, but because
of his immoderate extravagance he died poor in Vienna.
© P&P - Promozione e Produzione, Rome.