Expression of Antonio Vivaldi’s Music
Works by Antonio Vivaldi
Venice’s gleeful and festive life, carnivals, luxuriant theatre productions and city’s rich folklore had great effect on Antonio Vivaldi’s (1678–1741) music. The son of the violinist of San Marco Cathedral in Venice received a twofold education – ecclesiastical and musical (Italians amiably called him il Prete rosso [the Red Priest]). At an early agehe gained fame as a violin virtuoso, became maestro di violino (master of violin), later – a conductor of an orchestra and director of the conservatoire. Maestro led the girls’ orchestra of the Ospedale della Pietà (Devout Hospital of Mercy). At the time it was one of the best orchestras in Europe. These responsibilities fuelled his compositional ambition. 40 operas, more than 500 instrumental concertos and symphonies, as well as cantatas, motets, oratorios – the number is mindboggling!
Vivaldi’s concertos, of which he composed over 300, enjoyed great popularity. He was destined to complete the development of instrumental concerto, which lasted almost 150 years – from the beginning of the 17th c. to the middle of the 18th c. This afternoon the musicians present concertos for oboes (performed on both oboe and birbynė), violin concerto Winter from Four Seasons, overture to the opera L’Olimpiade and Sonata in D minor La Follia.