10 Interesting Facts about Antonio Vivaldi

Those who really love to listen to music might have considered one of these following facts about Antonio Vivaldi really interesting. As you know, Antonio Vivaldi was an Italian Baroque composer, Catholic priest and virtuoso violinist, who was born in Venice. Recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers, his influence during his lifetime was widespread over Europe. Vivaldi is known mainly for composing instrumental concertos, especially for the violin, as well as sacred choral works and over forty operas. His is best known work is a series of violin concertos known as “The Four Seasons”.

Facts about Antonio Vivaldi 1: Ospedale della Pieta

Many of his compositions were written for the female music ensemble of the orphanage Ospedale della Pieta, a home for abandoned children where Vivaldi had been employed from 1703 to 1715 and from 1723 to 1740.

Facts about Antonio Vivaldi 2: Declined in Popularity

Though Vivaldi’s music was well received during his lifetime, it later declined in popularity until its vigorous revival in the first half of the 20th century. Today, Vivaldi ranks among the most popular and widely recorded of Baroque composers, second only to Johann Sebastian Bach.

Facts about Antonio Vivaldi - Antonio Vivaldi in 1725

Facts about Antonio Vivaldi – Antonio Vivaldi in 1725

Facts about Antonio Vivaldi 3: The Famous Composer and Violinist

While Vivaldi is most famous as a composer, he was regarded as an exceptional technical violinist as well. The German architect Johann Friedrich Armand von Uffenbach referred to Vivaldi as “the famous composer and violinist” and said that Vivaldi had played a solo accompaniment excellently.

Facts about Antonio Vivaldi 4: Opera Impresario

In early 18th-century Venice, opera was the most popular musical entertainment. It proved most profitable for Vivaldi. There were several theaters competing for the public’s attention. Vivaldi started his career as an opera composer as a sideline: his first opera, “Ottone in villa” (RV 729) was performed not in Venice, but at the Garzerie Theater in Vicenza in 1713. The following year, Vivaldi became the impresario of the Teatro San Angelo in Venice, where his opera “Orlando finto pazzo”  (RV 727) was performed.

Facts about Antonio Vivaldi - Church where Vivaldi was baptized

Facts about Antonio Vivaldi – Church where Vivaldi was baptized

Facts about Antonio Vivaldi 5: Four Seasons

During 1718, Vivaldi wrote the Four Seasons, four violin concertos depicting scenes appropriate for each season. Three of the concerti are of original conception, while the first, “Spring”, borrows motifs from a Sinfonia in the first act of his contemporaneous opera “Il Giustino“. The inspiration for the concertos was probably the countryside around Mantua.

Facts about Antonio Vivaldi 6: Style

Vivaldi’s music was innovative. He brightened the formal and rhythmic structure of the concerto, in which he looked for harmonic contrasts and innovative melodies and themes; many of his compositions are flamboyantly, almost playfully, exuberant.

Facts about Antonio Vivaldi - The Four Seasons

Facts about Antonio Vivaldi – The Four Seasons

Facts about Antonio Vivaldi 7: Influence

Johann Sebastian Bach was deeply influenced by Vivaldi’s concertos and arias (recalled in his St. John Passion, St. Matthew, and cantatas). Bach transcribed six of Vivaldi’s concerti for solo keyboard, three for organ, and one for four harpsichords, strings, and basso continuo (BWV 1065) based upon the concerto for four violins, two violas, cello, and basso continuo.

Facts about Antonio Vivaldi 8: Posthumous Reputation

During his lifetime, Vivaldi’s popularity quickly made him famous in other countries, including France, but after his death the composer’s popularity dwindled. After the Baroque period, Vivaldi’s published concerti became relatively unknown and were largely ignored. Even Vivaldi’s most famous work, “The Four Season”, was at that time unknown in its original edition.

Facts about Antonio Vivaldi - Opera Poster

Facts about Antonio Vivaldi – Opera Poster

Facts about Antonio Vivaldi 9: Outstanding Instance of Program Music

“The Four Seasons” of 1723 is his most famous work. Part of “The Contest between Harmony and Invention”, it depicts moods and scenes from each of the four seasons. This work has been described as an outstanding instance of pre-19th century program music.

Facts about Antonio Vivaldi 10: Works

Vivaldi’s works attracted cataloging efforts befitting a major composer. Scholarly work intended to increase the accuracy and variety of Vivaldi performances also supported new discoveries which made old catalogs incomplete. Works still in circulation today may be numbered under several different systems.

Facts about Antonio Vivaldi - Opera

Facts about Antonio Vivaldi – Opera

Those who love music and love to listen to Vivaldi’s songs might have considered one of those facts really interesting to read. Hope you would find those Antonio Vivaldi facts really useful for you knowledge of music.

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