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5 Things you (probably) didn’t know about Vivaldi

Thu Feb 13 2014

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Antonio-Vivaldi

On 11 May, In the Spirit of Tradition will feature music from Vivaldi, alongside works by Corelli, Handel, Bach and Sally Beamish.  To start things off, here are 5 things you (probably) didn’t know about Antonio.

1) An earthquake shook Venice the day Vivaldi was born, March 4, 1687, so he literally came into the world with a bang!

2) Vivaldi was ginger.  Although it is difficult to tell from the lack of colour photography and the fact that he often wore a powdered wig, he was in fact a natural red-head.

3) Vivaldi hand-wrote poetry on the manuscript of his well-known work The Four Seasons.  No one is sure exactly who wrote the poetry, but it could have been Vivaldi himself.  He also provided handwritten instructions throughout the piece, including ‘The barking dog’ in Spring, ‘Languor caused by the heat’ in Summer and ‘the drunkards have fallen asleep’ in Autumn.

4) Some of Vivaldi’s compositions were quite controversial at the time.  For example, his opera, Arsilda, regina di Ponto, told the story of two women who fall in love while one pretends to be a man.  The opera was immediately censored, but Vivaldi still managed to stage a work a year after completion.

5) Vivaldi wrote over 500 musical works in his lifetime.  However, much of his music has since been lost or hidden, but it is gradually being rediscovered.  A flute concerto was recently rediscovered in 2010 in Scotland, and an original manuscript of his opera Orlando Furioso was just found in July 2012.

We perform music by Vivaldi as part of our In the Spirit of Tradition concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 11 May.

Also coming to venues in Jersey, Aberdeen, Gloucester and Bristol.

 

 

 

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