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Antonio Vivaldi

Antonio Vivaldi is one of the leading and renowned violinists who contributed immensely in the development of the music industry into its current state in the society. He was born on 4 March, 1678 of his parents Gianbattista and Camilla Calicchio in Venice. His father was a cathedral musician who inspired him to develop interest in the development of his music career. His spiritual life began immediately he was born where he was baptized at the age of two at church of San Giovanni in Bragora. Due to the good moral and spiritual upbringing, Antonio Vivaldi began exploring other avenues of fostering his music career. He was born from a family of five siblings’ three sisters and two brothers who accorded him them much needed support. His father’s work as a cathedral musician gave Antonio Vivaldi the much required insight to learn clerical works where he continued to combine both clergy works and music career. This was not usual in Italy since Italy was recognized as sacred ground that cou
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Antonio Vivaldi Biography

Antonio Vivaldi came into the world as early as March 4, 1678 after Gianbattista married Camilla Calicchio, the daughter of a Venetian tailor, On August 6, 1677. As a premature child he had such a weak constitution that on account of the risk of death, as the baptismal register has it, he had to be baptised by the midwife, and that only two months later could he be taken to the church of San Giovanni in Bragora for formal baptism. According to the records, Antonio had three sisters (Margherita Gabriela, Cecilia Maria and Zanetta Anna) and two brothers (Bonaventura Tomaso and Francesco Gaetano). These brothers were not professional musicians, but remained true to their father’s traditional trade. His father’s occupation as a Cathedral musician naturally brought the young Antonio into contact with the clerical orders, and so his decision to enter the clergy is understandable, particularly since in seventeenth and eighteenth century Italy it was not unusual for such an occupation to be co

Antonio Vivaldi Quotes

Human feelings are difficult to predict. If you don’t like this, I’ll stop writing music. I’m a coward. I succumbed to jealousy and now it eats my heart. Springtime is upon us. The birds celebrate her return with festive song, and murmuring streams are softly caressed by the breezes. Thunderstorms, those heralds of Spring, roar, casting their dark mantle over heaven, Then they die away to silence, and the birds take up their charming songs once more. There are no words, it’s only music there.  

The Four Seasons

It is ironic that The Four Seasons, some of the best-known music of all time, remain an enigma. Several interrelated questions need to be answered before a reasonably complete view of Vivaldi’s actions can ever be reached. When were the sonnets written, and by whom? Was the music based on the poetry or vice versa? Were the programme’s ideas Vivaldi’s own? Why were extra explanatory captions added for the works’ publication in Op. 8? Such uncertainties leave us blinkered when it comes to appraising the music – and the concertos themselves, far from providing answers, serve to confuse us all the more. Taken at face value, the works seem individualized, concerned only with their own narratives. Their collective integrity exists nonetheless, residing to some extent in inter-textual relationships but principally in Vivaldi’s approach to different seasonal pictures: a consistency of method, through which distinct ideas are shown to be complementary. One cannot say, as Beethoven said of the ‘

The Four Seasons: Spring’s Raptures

The cycle’s brightest, most optimistic music is heard first, as befits the season. It is also the most formal: a ritornello with the heaviness and poise of a courtly dance, suited to the proclaiming of a goddess. Vivaldi adapted the ritornello for the opera Giustino (RV 717,1724) as a short sinfonia, also in E major, during which the goddess Fortune appears in a brightly lit scene. We hear immediately an aspiration to the note b2 in bar 1 and throughout the ritornello, and solos that begin on the fifth of the chord (bars 14 and 59). These open sounds of exposed fifths seem to reach high to the deity in ‘the beloved roof; the same rationale might also explain why the bolts of lightning in bar 45 flash up – also to b2 – not down. The stormy passage, for which the first modulation has been reserved, presents no great sense of conflict. It might have been worked in simply to add a transitory event to an otherwise static scene and to provoke some volatility at the movement’s center. Neverth

The Four Seasons: Summer’s Ruin

Vivaldi’s vision of the fear and destruction associated with a temporale – a violent storm, brewed by the warm winds from the Sahara, of a kind that regularly afflicts Italy in summer – is arguably his most inspired characterized concerto. Of all the Seasons, only Summer has a relentless progression across its three movements from anticipation to realization of a single event, and this is reflected in the fast movements’ unusually high degree of motivic integration. Vivaldi’s four-note leitmotif not only makes the connection between the violence of the storm and, in diminution, its cutting effects (solo part, bars 41-8 and 109-13). With perfect logic, it also characterizes the winds that threaten to bring the storm. Descent through the tetrachord in a minor key is a melodic feature common to many composers’ works – frequently those concerning suffering. Haydn’s use of it, for the opening bars of ‘The Seasons’ (1801), is particularly close to Vivaldi’s: played harshly in G minor, it con

The Four Seasons: Autumn’s Revels

Struggle with Nature, so central to Summer, is a theme absent from Autumn. Having achieved a temporary victory by harnessing Nature’s power, man may now enjoy the spoils (crops, ale, wild animals to be killed) in untroubled leisure. Selfish indulgence is hinted at both in the sonnet – which eschews the idea, present in Spring, that Nature ought gratefully to be honored – and in music that concentrates on carousel and sport. Only the quarry experiences struggle, but the single phrase devoted to its distress and pain is mere tokenism – albeit nicely timed for the cadenza – in Vivaldi’s picture of the pursuit of pleasure. It is no coincidence that Autumn elicits from the soloist the Seasons’ most sustained displays of extrovert virtuosity, for in this way man’s brash confidence is superimposed on our perception of depicted events. The first movement manages to convey crudeness with artful grace, initially in a repetitive ritornello of primitive’ harmony and a similar first solo rooted to

The Four Seasons: Winter's Reconciliation

In Winter, Nature is at her most terrifying in the bleakest of environments. This is evident in the tuneless opening ritornello, with cruel dissonance and icy articulation, and the fury of the wind that follows. It is certainly a vision of horror to Vivaldi’s way of thinking. He would later set an aria about blood chilling at the sight of a ghost – ‘Gelido in ogni vena‘ (‘Icy in every vein’) – with the same opening progression. The message of Winter, however, is that man can shrug off, smile at and even enjoy Nature’s taunts. Much of the first movement is constructed in rhythms that convey, like lines 1 and 4 of the sonnet, both the cold and people’s physical reaction to it. There is a unity of purposes here: the cold, becoming more intense, progressively induces greater animation in a person. Thus, as the wind has its effect, the initial reiterated quavers become semiquavers for the stamping of feet (bars 20-6) and demisemiquavers for the chattering of teeth (bars 47-55) – not to be c