Music / Antonio Vivaldi

Antonio Vivaldi (4 March 1678 — 28 July 1741) was an Italian composer and violinist from the Baroque era.

He was considered a master of the Baroque concerto form, and is perhaps best known for a set of four violin concertos called the Four Seasons.

Vivaldi began his career as a Catholic priest and a tutor of music in a school for girls in Venice. He was referred to as 'The Red Priest' for his red hair. He was banned from officiating at religious services and nearly declared insane after he excused himself during the middle of a service, at which he was officiating, to write down a few bars of music that just occurred to him.

Was very popular in his native Venice as well as elsewhere in Europe during much of his career, but changing musical tastes left him behind, and he died poor. Like many pre-Classical era composers, he fell into relative obscurity by the 19th century. But his popularity went through a revival in the early 20th century, helped along by, among others, Ezra Pound, as well as by the discovery in a monastery of music previously thought lost.

Bach thought highly of him, and transcribed some Vivaldi works to other instruments (i.e., turning some of Vivaldi's violin concertos into pieces for organ or harpsichord).

Vivaldi in popular culture

  • Phone any company and ask for somebody not present on the phone. While you are put on hold chances are 9 out of 10 that the melody will be "Spring" from the "Four Seasons".
  • Play with Me by Extreme features riffs from various classical pieces including Mozart's Rondo Alla Turca and Vivaldi's The Four Seasons.
  • "Winter" from Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" is used in BanYa's catalog for Pump It Up.
  • V and V2 from beatmania IIDX samples Concerto No. 4 in F minor, Op. 8, RV 297, L'inverno (Winter) from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons.
  • "Vorsprung Durch Techno" and "Summer in Belize" from In the Groove 2 are based on the Spring and Summer movements, respectively, of Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
  • He is mentioned as being dead in the song "Decomposing Composers" by Michael Palin sang on Monty Python's Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album.