Saturday, October 11, 2014

Antonio Vivaldi: The Red-Haired Priest, Part 2

     In our first post, we talked about how our red-haired priest was taught the violin by his father at a young age and how he joined the priesthood of the Catholic church briefly. After leaving the priesthood because of poor health, Vivaldi dedicated himself to his music.

It’s Music Time
     At the age of 25 Vivaldi started working with mostly orphaned girls at the Ospedale della Pieta (the Devout Hospital of Mercy). He helped instruct the orphaned children in the area to become great musicians. After starting his teaching career, Vivaldi took the next step bringing the most talented musicians together to form an orchestra. Vivaldi helped the orchestra gain international attention by performing many types of music, like his famous concertos and even religious choral music. 

Alongside all of his teaching and orchestra directing, Vivaldi started composing operas in 1715. In the Baroque era, operas were new and they were considered a big deal. He performed and made several major operas. Two famous operas that still remain are the works La constanza trionfante and Farnace. In the year 1716 he was appointed musical director and took the lead role finally reaching the height of his musical profession.

Vivaldi started searching for a better job and in his search found many short-term jobs funded by patrons (a patron is someone that gives financial support or just support to a person, organization or an activity). These helpful patrons came from Mantua (a city in Italy) and Rome (capital of Italy). It took Vivaldi about 4 years (from 1717 to 1721) to make his most famous composition, The Four Seasons. He put these pieces together with sonnets (sonnets are poems consisting of fourteen lines of any number or rhyme). But, it is said that Vivaldi either may or may not have written the sonnets used in his piece.

Many famous monarchies adored him. For one, King Louis XV liked Vivaldi because one of Vivaldi’s compositions,  Gloria e Imeneo, was written especially for the king’s wedding. Emperor Charles named him a knight after his beautiful music and many great compositions.

Guest Author: Isha, Suzuki Violin Book I student

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