August 22, 2013 at 4:29 PMI can’t believe what a genius Vivaldi was…I am humbled by so many composers but recently, I recorded a lot of Vivaldi in London with the English Chamber Orchestra and I was simply marveling at this red haired violin-playing Venetian priest. As with most composers, he worked very hard most of his life and continually found inspiration to write some of the most prolific music everybody seems to be able to hum. It also seems incredibly modern that his music was performed by the women at the orphanage he was composing at most of his life. Plagued by health problems, he resented being ordained as a priest but the job gave him steady income.
To think that the Four Seasons was all premiered by women is quite thrilling…especially in the 1720's. The amount of freedom in his score is so deliciously compelling as well-I would love to read a thesis about why Vivaldi decided to name his concertos this way. As other Venetian composers labelled their concertos No.1 etc., he labeled his as ‘The Hunt’, ‘The Sea Storm’, ‘Autumn’ so visceral in its meaning that one can’t help but imagine red and gold leaves, the air becoming cool and becoming drunk with nature’s beauty…
In playing the pieces, please let us know whose interpretations influence you and what concessions to period performance, if any, you are making in your technique and interpretation. Thanks.
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