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Royalty Free Music - Antonio Vivaldi

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Antonio Vivaldi- Biography

Antonio Vivaldi was a great Venetian composer of the baroque period. His many works display a lightness of touch and inventiveness that secure their popularity today in television and film soundtracks.

Vivaldi was born in Venice in 1678. His Father, Giovanni, taught his young son the violin and together they played in concerts all over the city, but Antonio as a young adult entered the church, becoming a priest in 1703 and due to his fiery hair he gained the nick-name "The Red Priest". His congenital breathlessness however meant that after only 2 years he was unable to say Holy Mass, so instead he gained musical employment as master of violins at the "Ospedale della Pieta" in Venice. This orphanage school had a famous choir and orchestra which the most talented children joined at 15, and he wrote many of his compositions for them.

From such beginnings, Vivaldi's brilliance as a composer grew, and whilst he still retained his links with the Pieta he gained employment first with Prince Phillip's court in Mantua and then in Rome. His most famous work "The Four Seasons" was written at this time, representing nature, birds and animals with clear and bright melodies and rich string orchestration, and was published in 1725 as one of a series of twelve concertos. He went on to meet Kings, Princes and noblemen throughout Europe and was well-known and respected by musicians and audiences alike. His works were ambitious and numerous (he is said to have written 94 operas) and his work moved the composition style from the "Baroque" towards the "Classical". He died in July 1741, and was buried in Vienna.

His music enjoyed great popularity during his life, (JS Bach transcribed 10 of his concertos for solo keyboard or orchestra), but after his death became virtually unknown. It wasn't really publically appreciated until the middle of the 20th Century, when a Vivaldi week in 1939 saw a performance of, amongst other things, his "Gloria". Since then, Vivaldi's compositions have been rediscovered and it says much for his talents that the writings of this Venetian composer, born in the 17th century, are now celebrated and performed all over the world, and still today communicate the freshness and vitality of life that Vivaldi felt 300 years ago.

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