Antonio Vivaldi facts

June 16, 2012 | In: Music History


Antonio Lucio Vivaldi was born in 1678 in Venice. His father, Giovanni Battista, was a violinist in the San Marco Dome orchestra. He knew a beautiful girl while he was playing the violin and she also fell in love with him. So, Camilla Calicchio gave him a son.

At the age of 15, Vivaldi was determined to be a catholic priest and 10 years later, he did become one. But few years after that, he was struck by a terrible disease, thought to be asthma, and decided to leave the clerical life. This was an enormous chance for him to dedicate himself to composing music. In 1722, he sung for the Pope in Dresden.

Blessed with exceptional hearing, as well with the capacity of improvising, Vivaldi dedicated his entire life to discover new rhythmical and harmonic combinations, giving the violoncello and the bassoon main roles in his orchestras. I forgot… Vivaldi was one of the first conductor in history.

He is thought to be the composer who gave the biggest glow to the genre called concerto, in the Baroque. The Baroque Vivaldian concert will develop very fast throughout Europe, with help from composers like Jean-Philippe Rameau, Handel or J.S. Bach.

The Vivaldian concert has 3 parts:

  1. The no-vocalist concert. Here we can find small groups of instrumentalists competing against each other.
  2. The single vocalist concert. This time we see the vocalist talking to the orchestra.
  3. Last but not least, the multi vocalist concert. Here, the vocalists sing with the orchestra alternatively.

Because of his troubled life, Vivaldi found himself all alone in Vienna, an died in 1741.


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