WRTI's Essential Classical Composer No. 5: Antonio Vivaldi

Feb 7, 2017

You weighed the tons of concertos and voted the Red Priest your No. 5 Essential Classical Composer. Antonio Vivaldi has a reputation for having written too much similar-sounding music, but we say "fie" to that—fie; there, we said it!

The vigor, color, and outright audacity of The Four Seasons and his famous Gloria are unbeatable, but the many concertos for violin and other solo instruments are overflowing with effervescence. Today is the day we feature Antonio Vivaldi on WRTI, but we’ll take him any day of the week!

  • Vivaldi seems to have been an asthmatic; even though ordained, he was permitted, because of his health, to remain a priest without celebrating Mass
  • His nickname, “The Red Priest,” refers to his red hair
  • He was an exceptional violinist
  • For almost 40 years, Vivaldi ran musical activities at Venice’s Devout Hospital of Mercy, a school for orphans. Many of his works were written for the girls’ orchestra there.

  • His work for the school and his many religious works didn’t stop him from composing more than 40 operas

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