- Mini Bio
- Name: Antonio Lucio Vivaldi
- Born: 4th March 1678, Venice, Republic of Venice
- Died: 27th July 1741, Vienna, Holy Roman Empire
- Occupation: Baroque composer and virtuoso violinist
- Nickname: The red priest (attributed to him having a mop of curly red hair)
- Most famous work: Four violin concertos called The Four Seasons, with each concerto being accompanied with a sonnet associating with the particular season
- Trivia: In a letter to Marchese Bentivoglio in 1737 Vivaldi was quoted as saying he had written ninety-four operas, however less than fifty have been discovered and accounted for
- Posthumous appreciation: Most of Vivaldi's success has come posthumously where his work was revived in the early part of the twentieth century and he was heralded as the greatest virtuoso violinist of the Baroque era with his four violin concertos The Four Seasons hailed as a masterpiece
"Human feelings are difficult to predict"Antonio Vivaldi
"I suspected that Beretta was not capable of playing the first harpsichord; Signor Acciaioli assured me, however, that he was a capable artist and an honest man, while I have since discovered that he is a brazen fool"Antonio Vivaldi
"My reputation in Ferrara has been scourged to such a degree that they have already refused to perform the second opera, Farnace, which I had completely rewritten for the company as per the contract with Mauro"Antonio Vivaldi
"I beseech you never to deprive me of your most noble patronage and to believe me when I say that I will never forget a prince so replete with goodness and great merits"Antonio Vivaldi
"I regret that Your Excellency is perhaps already preparing for your trip to Bologna and will not be able to honor this opera of mine with your presence, I believe you would have found it magnificent"Antonio Vivaldi
"He wished to keep Lanzetti, who only wants to please La Becchera, but he is wrong, because La Isola and associate are not worth the money"Antonio Vivaldi
"It is impossible to perform the opera without La Girò because it is impossible to find another prima donna of her caliber"Antonio Vivaldi
"His Eminence Cardinal Ruffo is very badly informed if he believes that my opera endeavors are too lavish"Antonio Vivaldi
"I desire to trouble you as little as possible and because my poor pen would be insufficient to write adequate thanks"Antonio Vivaldi
"If the most select benefactors do not assist poor wretches the latter must fall into despair"Antonio Vivaldi
"If God blesses us till the end, we will make a profit and perhaps a considerable one at that"Antonio Vivaldi
"After so many maneuvers and a great many toils the opera is now ruined"Antonio Vivaldi
"I cannot allow such a fool to make his fortune by destroying my poor name"Antonio Vivaldi
"Springtime is upon us. The birds celebrate her return with festive song, and murmuring streams are softly caressed by the breezes"Antonio Vivaldi
"We hear the cuckoo's voice; Then sweet songs of the turtle dove and finch are heard. Soft breezes stir the air"Antonio Vivaldi
"The peasant celebrates with song and dance the harvest safely gathered in. The cup of Bacchus flows freely, and many find their relief in deep slumber"Antonio Vivaldi
"We feel the chill north winds coarse through the home despite the locked and bolted doors… this is winter, which nonetheless brings its own delights"Antonio Vivaldi
"If you don't like this, I'll stop writing music"Antonio Vivaldi
"I'm a coward. I succumbed to jealousy and now it eats my heart"Antonio Vivaldi
"There are no words, it's only music there"Antonio Vivaldi
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Antonio Vivaldi Biography
Antonio Vivaldi was a Venetian composer and virtuoso violinist who was taught to play by his violinist father Giovanni Battista Vivaldi. He was a good student of music who learned quickly and revelled in the baroque style of his era. His poor health held him back in many pursuits apart from music as he suffered a periodic tightening of the chest that may have been asthma and was not helped during childhood living in the damp Venetian houses.
He was ordained as a catholic priest in 1704 although he rarely led a church service due to health limitations restricting standing sermons. In 1703 Vivaldi became a violin tutor at a Venetian orphanage where he spent many years in rewarding tutelage while in his free time he composed many of his major works. His first collections of 12 sonatas were published in 1705 with a follow up published in 1709 with neither making any major breakthroughs. 1711 was a better year as his work started to gain recognition with a collection of 12 concerti published in Amsterdam.
Vivaldi turned his skills to composing operas and the next few years were his most successful period and he toured to much acclaim around the large cities of Europe. He was the toast of royalty and kings and Emperor Charles VI liked his music so much he invited him to Vienna where more lucrative opportunities lay at the heart of the Holy Roman Empire. Vivaldi arrived in Vienna full of hope and genuine expectation but Charles VI died soon afterwards and Vivaldi remained in Vienna without a sponsor in the hope he could live well relying on his talent and good name.
It was not to be and Vivaldi died in poverty one year later and was buried in silence at St. Charles Church in Vienna. He was a man of few words but his fantastic music is still doing his talking in the 21st century and even so, I still managed to compile a list of 20 of the best Antonio Vivaldi quotes.
Quotes About Antonio Vivaldi
The eminent German architect Johann Friedrich Armand von Uffenbach was impressed to say:
"Vivaldi played a solo accompaniment excellently, and at the conclusion he added a free fantasy [an improvised cadenza] which absolutely astounded me, for it is hardly possible that anyone has ever played, or ever will play, in such a fashion"
The artistic director Susan Orlando made this assessment of a rare new Vivaldi find:
"Not only is it amazing in the world of Baroque opera to suddenly find that Vivaldi wrote two Orlando Furiosos, but also what it says about him as a composer – taking a libretto and working it, and then going back to it and working it again. Nobody expected anything like this"
The composer Igor Stravinsky was not so impressed:
"Vivaldi is greatly overrated - a dull fellow who could compose the same form so many times over"
The conductor Christopher Hogwood did not seem amused:
"Vivaldi sometimes uses caricature in a very serious and grim sense, not at all comic"