Antonio Vivaldi

Antonio Vivaldi

Venice, Città Metropolitana di Venezia, Veneto, Italy
Death 28 Jul 1741 (aged 63)
Vienna, Wien Stadt, Vienna (Wien), Austria
Memorial Site* Vienna, Wien Stadt, Vienna (Wien), Austria

* A structure erected in honor of someone whose remains lie elsewhere.

Plot Near St. Charles Church
Memorial ID 9963 · View Source
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Composer and Violinist. His suite "The Four Seasons" (1723) is one of the best-loved pieces in all Baroque music. An early example of a tone poem, a form later favored by the Romantics, it effectively captures the moods of the seasons even without the benefit of percussion. Vivaldi's music is typically popular in spirit, warm and inviting in its melody, and often imaginative in its scoring. Of his many other compositions the most familiar are probably the 12 concertos that form the collection "L'estro armonico" (1711) and the "Gloria" (1726). Vivaldi was born in Venice. As a child he showed a remarkable aptitude for music, but was trained for the priesthood and ordained in 1703. Shortly afterwards he stopped saying Mass. He claimed it was because of a chest ailment; his enemies asserted that he would dash from the altar to scribble down musical ideas. Either for this reason or because of his strawberry blonde hair, he was nicknamed "Il Prete Rosso" ("The Red Priest"). Also in 1703 he was appointed to the music faculty of the Ospedale della Pieta, a Venetian girls' orphanage, which remained his base for most of his life. Vivaldi's priesthood did not interfere with his love life, especially his affair with singer Anna Giraud, a pupil who travelled with him throughout Italy; the two were once barred from entering the city of Ferrara because it was feared their presence would create a scandal. Publication of Vivaldi's music spread his fame to northern Europe and influenced a number of composers, notably J. S. Bach, who transcribed several of the Italian's violin concertos for the keyboard. His massive output eventually totalled some 550 concertos (230 for violin), 46 operas (nearly all of them now lost), and scores of sonatas, sinfonias, and sacred pieces. But by the late 1730's his popularity had declined and he slipped into poverty. In 1741 Vivaldi went to Vienna hoping to secure a lucrative post from Charles VI, who was a great fan of his music, but the monarch died before granting him an audience. Alone and destitute, Vivaldi succumbed to a heart attack and was buried, that same day, in an unmarked grave at Vienna's Spitaller Gottsacker. This cemetery was abandoned in 1783, and the Vienna University of Technology was built on the grounds in 1818. Vivaldi's music was almost completely forgotten until 1939, when Alfredo Casella, an Italian composer-conductor, launched a week-long festival featuring "The Four Seasons." Not everyone was thrilled with the revival. Igor Stravinsky allegedly remarked, "Vivaldi did not write 500 concertos, he wrote the same concerto 500 times," but this has been a minority opinion. In 1978, on the 300th anniversary of his birth, a plaque was installed at Vienna Tech to indicate Vivaldi's long-lost gravesite.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 14 Jun 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 9963
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Antonio Vivaldi (4 Mar 1678–28 Jul 1741), Find a Grave Memorial no. 9963, citing Bürgerspital-Gottesacker, Vienna, Wien Stadt, Vienna (Wien), Austria ; Maintained by Find A Grave .