Antonio Vivaldi

Born 4 March 1678. Died 28 July 1741.
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Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

Howard Goodall and Suzy Klein discuss Summer from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons.

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Biography

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (4 March 1678 – 28 July 1741), nicknamed il Prete Rosso ("The Red Priest") because of his red hair, was an Italian Baroque composer, Catholic priest, and virtuoso violinist, 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 best known work is a series of violin concertos known as The Four Seasons.

Many of his compositions were written for the female music ensemble of the Ospedale della Pietà, a home for abandoned children where Vivaldi had been employed from 1703 to 1715 and from 1723 to 1740. Vivaldi also had some success with stagings of his operas in Venice, Mantua and Vienna. After meeting the Emperor Charles VI, Vivaldi moved to Vienna, hoping for preferment. However, the Emperor died soon after Vivaldi's arrival and Vivaldi himself died less than a year later.

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Links & Information

BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione - 12 concerti, Op. 8 (The Avison Ensemble; violin: Pavlo Beznosuik)

    Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione - 12 concerti, Op. 8 (The Avison Ensemble; violin: Pavlo Beznosuik) 2011

    Reviewed by Graham Rogers
    A delightful new set which showcases The Four Seasons’ startling originality.
  2. Review of Ottone in Villa (Il Giardino Armonico; director: Giovanni Antonini)

    Ottone in Villa (Il Giardino Armonico; director: Giovanni Antonini) 2010

    Reviewed by Graham Rogers
    It’s not the first recording of Ottone in Villa, but it will be hard to beat.
  3. Review of Gloria (Concerto Italiano, Rinaldo Alessandrini)

    Gloria (Concerto Italiano, Rinaldo Alessandrini) 2009

    Reviewed by Katie Greening
    This is Vivaldi as it should be.
  4. Review of Vivaldi (Venice Baroque Orchestra feat. conductor: Andrea Marcon, Mezzo-Soprano: Magdalena Kozena)
  5. Review of Cello Concertos

    Cello Concertos 2008

    Reviewed by Charlotte Gardner
    A performance oozing soul and individuality.
  6. Review of Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

    Vivaldi: The Four Seasons 2007

    Reviewed by Charlotte Gardner
    This is not just a musical firework display but a carefully thought-through performance.
  7. Review of Opera Arias and Sinfonias

    Opera Arias and Sinfonias 2007

    Reviewed by Claire Rogers
    ...catching the mood of each aria perfectly.
  8. Review of Amor Sacro

    Amor Sacro 2007

    Reviewed by Andrew McGregor
    Buy it, and give the Four Seasons a break…
  9. Review of L'Olimpiade

    L'Olimpiade 2007

    Reviewed by Andrew McGregor
    'Isn't it about time someone started mapping Vivaldi's vast, neglected operatic...
  10. Review of La Stravaganza

    La Stravaganza 2007

    Reviewed by Andrew McGregor
    Virtuoso baroque violinist Rachel Podger and the young Polish period instrument group...
  11. Review of Violin Concertos

    Violin Concertos 2005

    Reviewed by Andrew McGregor
    This exceptional disc should satisfy fans of authentic Baroque performance as well as...