10 May 2015

Vivaldi - Violinist Extraordinaire

From Composer of the Week, 9:00 am on 10 May 2015
Antonio Vivaldi portrait

Antonio Vivaldi portrait Photo: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons


The prolific violinist/ composer Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) has been popular since Bach was a young man.

You might assume that Vivaldi would be most proud of his instrumental works, but as a showman who liked to mix with royalty, he was attracted to the bright lights of the opera houses. Opera was the domain of diva singers who worked for particular opera houses and had to be used in all the productions. They demanded equal shares of the limelight and took liberties with their solos, as Greg Squire describes:

"It was inevitable that one or other of the singers would have a favourite note which they required to have used at a particularly emotionally charged part of the aria, often holding on to the note for as long as they had breath, whatever the musical context."



Music Details:

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons - Spring - DG 463 259
Legrenzi: Sonata da chiesa Op. 8/8 - EMI CDC 7 54117
Vivaldi: Concerto in C RV 444 - BIS-CD-635
Vivaldi: Concerto in D major RV 208 - L’Oiseau-Lyre 421 442 
Vivaldi: Sonata in A minor - Allegro Poco - Deutsche Harmoni Mundi RD 77909
Vivaldi: Juditha Triumphans - Opus111 OP30314
Vivaldi: Juditha Triumphans - Opus111 OP30314
Vivaldi: Farnace - Io Crudel - Alia Vox AV9822
Vivaldi: L’Olimpiade - Non so donde viene - Nuova Era 6932/33
Vivaldi: La fida ninfa - Dite, oimè - Decca 466 569