One of the most beloved composers of the baroque era had is 340th birthday this month, and to honor that we wanted to pay homage to him. He was a revolutionary in his era of music and spearheaded the evolution of classical music. His work is regularly called groundbreaking and unlike anything else. We’re going to share7 things you probably didn’t know about Antonio Vivaldi.
Here are seven pieces of trivia on this musical pioneer:
- He came from a large family. During the baroque era, couples would often have as many children as possible because there was no guarantee that all offspring would make it into adulthood. Medical technology was nowhere near where it is today, and infant mortality rates were astronomical. Vivaldi was the firstborn with nine younger siblings.
- Vivaldi was ordained at the age of 25 after being trained for three years. His faith was extremely important to him and it was displayed through his music. It was common for people to attend church regularly and to abide by how the church believed you should act. His father taught him to play the violin during his training for thepriesthood and he was encouraged to play for the church congregation.
- As mentioned above, medical science was nowhere near where it is today. At the time, people died of illnesses that we would treat with off-the-shelf medication. Vivaldi suffered from acute bronchial asthma his whole life. Without modern medication, that would have been an awful illness to suffer from.
- Vivaldi had uniquely red hair which drew a lot of attention. He was given a nickname that means “red priest” in Italian- “Il preterosso”. He must have stood out from the traditional dark haired Italian stallions!
- He wrote a ton of pieces of music in his lifetime. Approximately 500 concertos and hundreds of operas. Since he was a committed priest, religion was a huge part of his life. Many of his pieces focused on religious themes which pleased the members of the church.
- His most famous and beloved work is The Four Seasons, or “Le quattrostagiono” in Italian. He finished composing this piece in 1723 but there are rumors it took him years to complete. The piece is composed of four violin concertos which each section representing a season. When you dissect his intention for the piece with how it sounds overall, it’s impressive how accurately it does resemble the four seasons.
- As most geniuses are, Vivaldi was known to be quite arrogant and cocky. He was continually praised and told how talented he was- it was bound to affect his ego! He liked to brag about how fast he could compose new pieces and rub it in other composers faces.
Now that you know seven more things about Antonio Vivaldi, doesn’t it make you appreciate him even more? He was a musical genius, a warrior for his faith, and inspired artists for centuries after his life ended.