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Antonio Lucio Vivaldi

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Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (4 March 1678 – 28 July 1741) was an Italian Baroque composer, virtuoso violinist, teacher and cleric. Born inVenice, he is recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread across Europe. Vivaldi was only 25 when he started working at the Ospedale della Pietà. Over the next thirty years he composed most of his major works while working there. Vivaldi wrote more than 500 other concertos. About 350 of these are for solo instrument and strings, of which 230 are for violin, the others being for bassoon,cello, oboe, flute, viola d'amore, recorder, lute, or mandolin. About forty concertos are for two instruments and strings and about thirty are for three or more instruments and strings. As well as about 46 operas, Vivaldi composed a large body of sacred choral music. Other works include sinfonias, about 90 sonatas and chamber music.

Vivaldi’s legacy included great advancements in violin technique, the establishment of the three movement concerto forms, and a number of other innovations for sonatas and concertos. But, perhaps, the freedom to be bold and original in composition was his greatest gift to later generations of musicians. Vivaldi's influence on the development of Baroque music was immense. He ignited transformations in music for the church, the opera house and the concert hall. Vivaldi's innovation of the concerto influenced the music of the Baroque Period; by both incorporating the light, airy, playful, exuberant, and flamboyant style he was known for, and looking for harmonic contrasts and innovative melodies and themes, he brightened the formal and rhythmic structure of the concerto. Vivaldi's music will likely continue to influence musicians and composers alike, and this longevity of influence makes Antonio Lucio Vivaldi historically significant.

Johann Sebastian Bach was deeply influenced by Vivaldi's concertos and arias (recalled in his St John Passion, St Matthew Passion, and cantatas). Bach transcribed six of Vivaldi's concerti for solo keyboard, three for organ, and one for four harpsichords, strings, and basso continuo (BWV 1065) based upon the concerto for four violins, two violas, cello, and basso continuo (RV 580). In the 18th century, travelers came from all over Europe to hear Anna Maria and Chiara perform in Venice. They were two of Antonio Vivaldi’s greatest students. Vivaldi experienced a lot of financial difficulties, sold his compositions for pennies and emigrated to Vienna, Austria, where he was promised a job by the Emperor. The emperor died while Vivaldi was on his way. The composer was left without any means or protection. The composer was left without any means or protection. He died of an internal disease he nicknamed "Internal Fire" on July 28th, 1741 at the age of 63... as a poor man, forgotten for ages. Now Vivaldi is the most performed Baroque composer rivaled only by J.S. Bach. We will always remember Antonio Vivaldi, the legacy that he bestowed upon all of us, and the works of art that he has left for us to treasure until the end of time.

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