Antonio Lucio Vivaldi 1678-1741

(March 4, 1678 July 28, 1741), nicknamed il Prete Rosso ("The Red Priest"), was a Baroque composer and Venetian priest, as well as a famous virtuoso violinist, born and raised in the Republic of Venice. The Four Seasons, a series of four violin concerti, is his best-known work and a highly popular Baroque piece.

During the height of his career, Vivaldi received commissions from European nobles and royalty. 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 Venice; changing musical tastes quickly made them outmoded, and Vivaldi, in response, chose to sell off sizeable numbers of his manuscripts at paltry prices to finance a migration to Vienna.

Vivaldi is considered one of the composers who brought Baroque music (with its typical contrast among heavy sonorities) to evolve into a classical style. Johann Sebastian Bach was deeply influenced by Vivaldi's concertos and arias (recalled in his Johannes Passion, Matth?uspassion, and cantatas).

Vivaldi remained unknown for his published concerti, and largely ignored, even after the resurgence of interest in Bach, pioneered by Mendelssohn. Even his most famous work, The Four Seasons, was unknown in its original edition. In the early 20th century, Fritz Kreisler's concerto in the style of Vivaldi, which he passed off as an original Vivaldi work, helped revive Vivaldi's reputation.






Piano by numbers  by Diogines Sharon Tal