ANTONIO VIVALDI Concerto No . 8 for Two Violins and Orchestra from L ’ estro armonico
ABOUT THE COMPOSER
Born 1678 in Venice , Italy ; died 1741 in Vienna , Austria
• Vivaldi was born in Venice into a musical family . His father , a professional violinist , toured and performed with a young Vivaldi by his side and taught him violin lessons at an early age .
• Vivaldi studied to become a priest and was ordained at age 25 . He was nicknamed “ Il Prete Rosso ” or “ The Red Priest ” – a reference to the composer ’ s hair color . Vivaldi eventually left his liturgical duties and focused on composing , but he remained a member of the priesthood for the remainder of his life .
• In 1703 , Vivaldi became the master of violin for an orphanage in Venice , Ospedale della Pietà . Vivaldi composed most of his major works over the next 30 years for the all-female music ensemble of the orphanage . The ensemble gained international esteem following Vivaldi ’ s appointment , and he was eventually named music director of the institution .
• Vivaldi is regarded as one of the Baroque era ’ s most important composers whose influence was seen across Europe during and after his lifetime . His most famous work , The Four Seasons , lives on as one of the most recognizable pieces of classical music today .
THE WORLD AT A GLANCE
MUSIC Handel ’ s Oboe Sonata in F Major
INVENTIONS John Shore invents the tuning fork
ABOUT THE PIECE
• Vivaldi ’ s Concerto No . 8 was part of a set of 12 concertos for string instruments that was published in 1711 and called L ’ estro armonica ( The Harmonic Inspiration ).
• The set of works is thought to be one of the most influential music publications in the first half of the 18th century . J . S . Bach later transcribed six of the concertos for organ or keyboard .
HISTORY King Louis XIV becomes the longest-reigning monarch in the world
20 BALTIMORE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA