Antonio Vivaldi was the most prolific composer of eighteenth century in
Venice, Italy. His works and the styles he used were and are used as models f
or the works of his contemporaries continuing through the composers of the
nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. Much of his life, thrity-seven years, was
spent as a composer, violin teacher, conductor, and violin virtuoso at the
Pietà asylum for orphaned young women and girls.It soon became apparent
from Vivaldi's lack of involvement and enthusiasm that he wanted to be more
of the musician than the priest. His heart was drawn to salvation
through music, which is why he was not recognized as a priest, except for the
flaming red hair, which gave him the nickname "the red priest.
Vivaldi starts to spread his wings a bit and finds himself composing for the
well-known San Angelo theatre. He composed eighteen operas for this theater
in 1715 alone! He did not forget the Pietà, though. He continued to compose
two oratorios for the orphans entitled, Moyses Deus Pharaonis and Juditha
truimphans. As long as they were paying for him he would continue
composing for them.
In 1715, Vivaldi had written and composed eighteen operas for the San
Angelo theatre all in the same year.
During these years Vivaldi was also extremely active in the field of concertos.
In 1725 the publication Il Cimento dell' Armenia e dell'invenzione (The trial
of harmony and invention), appeared in Amsterdam. This consisted of twelve
concertos, seven of which were descriptive: The Four Seasons, Storm at Sea
Pleasure and The Hunt. Vivaldi transformed the tradition of descriptive
music into a typically Italian musical style with its unmistakable timbre in
which the strings play a major role.
Vivaldi's life, like those of many composers of the time, ended in financial
difficulties. His compositions no longer held the high esteem they once did in...