Vivaldi

Vivaldi

Published : 10/24/2017 16:50:38
Categories : Fine MUSIC Rss feed

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi was born on the 4th March, 1678 in Venice to Giovanni Battista and Camilla Calicchio. He was baptized immediately, "in the water at home by the midwife due to the danger of death" as it reads in the act of baptism, which was consecrated in the parish of St. John Bragora two months later on 6th May, ostensibly because of Antonio’s fragile health. He was probably suffering from incurable asthma, the "tightness of the chest" as he called it himself, which plagued him throughout his life.

Antonio’s musical education is extremely unclear: he was probably taught the violin by his father, who was a humble barber but also a violinist in the orchestra at the Basilica of San Marco from 1685. But many have speculated that the lessons from his father, although he was one of the most brilliant violinists in the city, were not quite sufficient to explain the subsequent mastery demonstrated by Vivaldi in composition. Some have ventured that Antonio was educated under the guidance of a more respected teacher, the composer Giovanni Legrenzi, who was chapel master at San Marco from 1685 to 1690, but there is no definite information confirming this. In any case, Antonio soon showed his talent to such a degree that at the age of ten he was occasionally able to replace his father in the orchestra.

Antonio was the eldest of six children. The family was large and certainly not wealthy: he was then intended for an ecclesiastical career, which offered some hope of social advancement. He entered the seminary, but, probably because of his poor health, he was allowed to study privately: this allowed him to complete his musical education.

In 1703, Vivaldi was ordained as a priest, and so, thanks to the colour of his hair, became universally known as the "Red Priest". A priest who for the rest of his life never failed to give rise to gossip and at the same time to fascinate people with his extraordinary musical talent.


After his death in Vienna, where he was buried in the cemetery of a hospital for the poor, which no longer exists. He was finally rediscovered in 1800: together we will see by whom, where, and why.