Antonio Vivaldi is the last representative of Baroque. Priest and virtuoso violinist, master of music at the Pietà, a convent for young, orphaned girls, the redheaded composer wrote countless concertos for these young ladies. Acclaimed throughout Europe, he composed quickly, proved his virtuosity with his ensemble of musicians and produced his operas in all the theatres in Venice.
Inventive, skilful and quick, the work Antonio Vivaldi left is considerable. He revolutionised the concerto, which he adapted to a variety of instruments: violin, oboe, mandolin... Even today, we continue to discover this priest-musician’s several hundred operas. Despite Johann Sebastian Bach having transcribed certain of his pieces, Vivaldi died in poverty, quite mysteriously, in Vienna where he lived in exile once Venice had tired of his music.
He fell into oblivion for many years. It was only in the mid 20th century that the lightness and elegance of his contrasting vocal exercises and his seductively repeated rhythms were to be fully appreciated. Far from Bach’s counterpoint or Scarlatti’s inventiveness, Vivaldi preferred the simplicity of the melodic line and evident harmonic sequences. He thus brought Italian Baroque to a close and made way for the classical era.
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