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Into Obscurity

Donald Macleod reflects on Vivaldi's bittersweet relationship with Vienna and introduces music from the final decade of his life, as musical tastes in Venice began to change.

Donald Macleod reflects on Vivaldi's bittersweet relationship with Vienna and introduces music from the final decade of his life, as musical tastes in Venice began to change.

Vivaldi continued to compose for the stage through his final decade though, as tastes in Venice began to change, his standing as an opera composer was about to peak. He was constantly on the road, travelling from one court to another with his favourite singer, Anna Giraud. After a very acrimonious debacle with the Cardinal of Ferrara, who refused Vivaldi entry into the city, he nearly went bankrupt. Vivaldi still had friends in high places and, in 1740, Vivaldi made the fateful decision to travel to Vienna and seek patronage from Charles VI, Emperor of Austria. Tragically for Vivaldi, the Emperor died just as Vivaldi arrived. The composer himself only survived a few more months, ending his career in abject poverty. Donald Macleod introduces music from those final years including two operas staged in Venice in which Anna sang key roles, a concerto from one of the collections dedicated to the music-loving Emperor of Austria and, finally, one of Vivaldi's colourful multi-instrument concertos played at his final farewell to Venice.

1 hour

Last on

Boxing Day 2014 12:00

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Music Played

  • Antonio Vivaldi

    Concerto in E major RV.271 (L'Amoroso) for violin and orchestra

    Orchestra: The English Concert. Director: Andrew Manze.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI : HMU 907-332.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI.
    • 4.
  • Antonio Vivaldi

    L' oracolo in Messenia - Sinfonia

    Orchestra: Europa Galante. Director: Fabio Biondi.
    • Virgin Classics: 6025472 6.
    • Virgin Classics.
    • 1.
  • Antonio Vivaldi

    L' oracolo in Messenia - Aria: Un labbro, un cor non v'e - end of Sc.13

    Singer: Franziska Gottwald. Orchestra: Europa Galante. Singer: Julia Lezhneva. Singer: Vivica Genaux. Singer: Xavier Sabata. Singer: Magnus Staveland. Singer: Ann Hallenberg. Director: Fabio Biondi.
    • Virgin Classics: 6025472 6.
    • 4.
  • Antonio Vivaldi

    Concerto in C major RV.558 for 13 instruments and orchestra

    Orchestra: Academy of Ancient Music. Conductor: Andrew Manze.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI : hmu-907 230.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI.
    • 16.
  • Antonio Vivaldi

    Griselda - opera RV.718 Act II Sc.14 - recit and trio: Non piu regina

    Ensemble: Ensemble Matheus. Singer: Veronica Cangemi. Conductor: Jean‐Christophe Spinosi. Singer: Marie‐Nicole Lemieux. Singer: Stefano Ferrari.
    • Naïve: OP30419.
    • Naïve.
    • 24.

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