Antonio Vivaldi was born in Venice on March 4th,1678. Through ordained a priest in 1703, according to hisown account, within a year of being ordained Vivaldi nolonger wished to celebrate mass because physicalcomplaints ?tightness of the chest? which pointed toasthmatic bronchitis, or a nervous disorder. It is alsopossible that Vivaldi was faking his illness. There is astory that he sometimes left the alter to jot down a musicalidea. He had became a priest against his own will, becausepriesthood was often the only way possible for a poorfamily to obtain free schooling. Vavaldi wrote many memorable concertos, such asthe Four seasons and the opus 3, he also wrote manyworks for students. People and students still play thesepieces all over the world. Vavaldi was employed for mostof his working life by by the Ospedale della Pieta. Oftentermed orphanage, this Ospedale was in fact a home for thefemale offspring of noblemen and their numerous dalliancewith their mistresses. Many of Vavaldi’s concerti wereindeed exercises which he would play whith his manytalented pupils.
Vavaldi’s relationship wth the Ospedale began rightafter his ordination in 1703, when he was named as theviolin teacher there. Until 1709, Vavaldi’s appointmentwas renewed every year and again and after 1711. Theythink between 1709 and 1711 Vivaldi was not attached tothe Ospedale. They think he might started working for theTeatro Sant’ Anngelo an opera theater. He was still was acomposer though, in 1711 twelve of his concertos werewritten and and published in Amsterdam.
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In 1713 Vavaldi was given a months leave from theOspedale to stage his first opera, it was called Ottone inville. He did this opera in Vicenza. He produced anotheropera in the period between 1713 and 1714.
Thse highest part of Vavaldi’s life was the end of1716. In November he managed to have the Ospedaleperform his great oratorio, it was called the JudithaTriumphans devicta Holofernis barbaric. This piece wasabout the victory of the Christians over the Turks in Augustof 1716.
Vavaldi Moved to Mantua in the late 1717 for twoyears in order to take up his post as Chamber Kapellmeisterat the court of Landgrave Philips van Hessen Darmstadt. His task there was to provide operas, cantatas, and perhapsconcert music, too.
Vavaldi in 1720 returned to Venice where he againstaged new operas that he wrote himself. In Mantua he hadmet a singer by the name of Anna Giraud, she moved inwith him Vavaldi said that she was just a housekeeper andagreat friend, just like her sister, Paolina, who also movedin.
Anna Giraud was young, born in Venice. She wasdaughter to French wigmaker. She was’nt beautiful,though she was elegant, a small women with beatiful eyesand a fascinating mouth. She had a very small voice, butshe could speak many languages. Vivaldi taught her howto sing and stayed with her until he died.
Vavaldi wrote works for commission from foreignrulers, such as the frech king, Louis XV. He serenaded LaSena festeggiante at the festival of the Seine. The badthing is that they can not date this music, but they know itwas written after 1720.
In rome Vavaldi found a patron in the person ofCardinal Pietro Ottoboni, a great music lover, who earlierhad been the patron of Arcangelo Corelli. Vavldi himselfwas asked by the pope to play the violin for him at a privateaudience. He totally loved it, it also was a great time in hislife.
Despite his stay in Rome and other cities, Vivaldiremained in the service of the Ospedale della Pieta, he wasnominated the Maestro di Concerti. He had to send twoconcertos per month to veniceand he received a ducat perconcerto. His presence was never required. He alsoremained dictator of the Teatro Sant Angelo, as he did inthe 1726, 7 and 8 seasons. Between 1725 and 1728 eight opera were made byVavaldi. In three months Vavaldi composed three operas,two for Venice and one for florence. During these yearsVavaldi also extremely active in the field of Concertos. In1725 the publication of Il Cimento dell’Armenia edell’invenzione and opus 8, appeared in Amsterdam. thisconsisted of twelve concertos, seven of which weredescriptive: The Four Seasons, Storm at Sea, Pleasure andThe Hunt. Vivaldi transformed the tradition of descriptivemusic into a typically Italian musical style with itsunmistakable timbre in which the strings play a big role.
These concetos were enormously successful,particulary in france. In the second half of the