Igor Stravinsky famously quipped that Vivaldi did not write 500 concerti but instead one concerto 500 times! The orchestra will quickly disprove this canard, if disproof were needed, with a programme showcasing the variety of music represented in this idiom. There are concertos for the full string orchestra, including the passionate La tempesta di mare, as well as Vivaldi’s arrangement of Corelli’s La Folia. Corelli’s version was in its time arranged by his student Geminiani; Vivaldi’s version is here arranged by Kevin Mallon! There are concerti for solo cello, two cellos, violin and cello, and a concerto for four violins.
Along with Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel, Vivaldi ranks amongst the greatest Baroque composers and his influence during his lifetime was widespread across Europe, giving origin to many imitators and admirers. He pioneered many developments in orchestration, violin technique and programmatic music. He consolidated the emerging concerto form into a widely accepted and followed idiom.
As well as his instrumental output, Vivaldi’s compositions included sacred choral works and more than fifty operas. Many of his compositions were written for the all-female music ensemble of the Ospedale della Pietà, a home for abandoned children. Vivaldi began studying for the priesthood at the age of 15 and was ordained at 25, but was given dispensation to no longer say public Masses due to a health problem. Vivaldi also had some success with expensive stagings of his operas in Venice, Mantua and Vienna.
We promise a dashing end to the season!