Antonio Vivaldi: The Red Priest of Venice by Karl Heller

By Karl Heller

Antonio Vivaldi's rediscovery after international warfare II quick led him from obscurity to his current renown as the most renowned 18th-century composers. Heller's biography offers the real aspects of his lifestyles, his works, and his impact on song historical past.

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A milestone along his road to fame was the first edition of L’estro armonico (The Harmonic Inspiration), Op. 3, published in 1711 at the latest. This work established his reputation as the leading master of the new instrumental genre: the concerto. Starting in 1713 the situation at the Pietà changed. Francesco Gasparini, who had successfully held the post of maestro di coro for many years, took advantage of the sick leave he was granted in the spring of 1713 and left Venice for about six months.

The other seasons during which some theaters remained closed were shorter and, in general, involved staging only one opera: the spring or Ascension seasons (La primavera or L’ascensione) and an autumn season (L’autunno), which, except for a period before Christmas, more or less became part of the Carnival season. In theory, the repertory was planned and prepared and the ensembles assembled for only a single season. Today it is hard for us to appreciate the cultural and social role opera played in Venice.

The violinist must play long passages in fourth position – a technical difficulty that surpasses any found in Corelli’s writing. Like Vivaldi’s other sonatas, however, the twelfth sonata contains no passages in double stops. Vivaldi followed his sets of sonatas (Opp. 1 and 2) – both of which were reprinted outside Italy a number of times, proving their popularity – with only two other groups of sonatas of six works each: four Sonatas for Violin and Continuo, Op. 5 (RV 18, 30, 33, and 35), published with two Trio Sonatas for Two Violins and Continuo, Op.

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