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 Search Beat > Arts > Music > Styles > Classical Music > Featured Composer > Antonio Vivaldi


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biography
Nicknamed "the Red Priest," Vivaldi (1678-1741) was once dismissed as having written the same concerto 400 times. But a new wave of Italian early-music ensembles has emphasized the vivid imagination and invention that so impressed J.S. Bach and that continue to make Vivaldi one of the most beloved composers of the baroque today.
recommended recordings
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons / Fabio Biondi, L'Europa Galante
Composer: Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor: Fabio Biondi
Performer: Fabio Biondi
Ensemble: L'Europa Galante
Opus 111 (Fra) - #569120 / January 9, 1995

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This recording of The Four Seasons sold something like 50 billion copies in France. Now I know that's not necessarily a recommendation. After all, this is the country that thinks that Jerry Lewis is America's greatest film star. But in this case, they have a point, because this is a sensational recording of the fabulous "four." The secret of making a great new recording of music that you've heard until it drives you crazy lies in the performers' ability to make the music sound fresh. That's...Read more


Vivaldi: Gloria, Magnificat, Concertos / Alessandrini, et al
Composer: Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor: Rinaldo Alessandrini
Performer: Patrizia Biccire, Sara Mingardo, et al.
Ensemble: Akademia Vocal Ensemble, Concerto Italiano
Opus 111 (Fra) - #30195 / April 14, 1998

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Don't let the startling double-time opening of this Gloria put you off--listen with an open mind and you'll be surprised how much sense it makes. Rinaldo Alessandrini's reading has many such surprises; some movements are taken very quickly, others surprisingly slowly, yet his choices seem fresh rather than perverse. The Magnificat is lesser-known and thus less surprising, but it's every bit as lively. The soloists all sing nicely (though Biccire doesn't blend well in the soprano duet); the...Read more


Sacred Music Vol 4 - Vivaldi: Juditha Triumphans / King

Composer: Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor: Robert King
Performer: Susan Bickley, Sarah Connolly, et al.
Ensemble: King's Consort Choir, King's Consort
Hyperion (UK) - #67281 / May 12, 1998

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Vivaldi is best known for his instrumental music--concertos and concerti grossi--but perhaps his most-performed work, the Gloria, is for chorus and vocal soloists. This rarely recorded oratorio, "Juditha Triumphans," combines all of Vivaldi's favorite compositional mediums--solo instrumental, orchestral, solo vocal, and choral--in a work of impressive scope brimming with wonderful melodies and irresistible rhythms. Telling the story of the Jewish heroine Judith, who single-handedly...Read more


works & recordings

  • Chamber Music
    Trios, Quartets, Quintets

  • Choral
    Secular and sacred choral music. Oratorios, Masses, Partsongs, Hymns, Carols

  • Instrumental
    Sonatas, Suites, Overtures, Minuets, Variations, Transcriptions, Dance Music

  • Orchestra
    Concertos, Symphonies

  • Theatrical Works
    Ballet, Stage, Incidental Music, Film Scores

  • Vocal and Opera
    Opera, Operetta, Song, Lieder, Musical Theater

Complete List of Works and Recordings

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Shopping and Product Search for
Angel/EMI Boxed Sets Decca Deutsche Grammophon ECM Store DVD-Audio Sheet
Music
Shop for Classical Music
Ballet Opera Symphony Sacred Early
Music
Renaissance
(c.1450-1600)
Baroque
(c.1600-1750)
Classical
(c.1770-1830)
Romantic
(c.1820-1910)
Modern
Period

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