Antonio Vivaldi: The Red Priest of Venice by Karl Heller

By Karl Heller

Antonio Vivaldi's rediscovery after international battle II speedy led him from obscurity to his current renown as some of the most renowned 18th-century composers. Heller's biography provides the $64000 elements of his lifestyles, his works, and his impression on track historical past.

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These were coveted positions in Venetian musical life because they insured a fixed income while at the same time leaving enough spare time for the maestri to engage in artistic activities else- 30 Chapter Two where. Virtually every well-known composer active in Venice during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries held at least a temporary post in one of the ospedali. Starting in 1672 Giovanni Legrenzi was maestro di musica at the Mendicanti; from 1701 to 1713 Francesco Gasparini served as maestro di coro at the Pietà; Antonio Lotti, Johann Adolf Hasse (from 1727), and Niccolo Jommelli were employed by the Incurabili; and Baldassare Galuppi worked at both the Mendicanti and the Incurabili.

Had the young musician neglected his duties at the Pietà once his outside activities began to grow rapidly? It seems likely that this was happening by 1716. 54 Chapter Four Notwithstanding any reservations the Pietà governors might have had concerning Vivaldi’s work, his good standing at large as violinist and composer clearly enhanced the institution’s musical reputation. It was during this period that the Pietà earned its reputation as the best of the city’s four Ospedali because of its excellent orchestra and its exciting instrumental programming, in which Vivaldi played an important part.

Here he is referring to the tradition of stagioni, that is, the one or more relatively short seasons during which theater was performed. Venetian opera houses were not open the year round. By far the most important season was Carnival (in winter), which lasted from 26 December (St. Stephen’s Day) to Shrove Tuesday. During this stagione each of the leading Venetian opera houses put on between two and four operas. 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.

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