Happy Birthday Vivaldi

Antonio Vivaldi was born in Venice on March 4th, 1678. Though ordained a priest in 1703, according to his own account, within a year of being ordained Vivaldi no longer wished to celebrate mass because of physical complaints (“tightness of the chest”) which pointed to angina pectoris, asthmatic bronchitis, or a nervous disorder. It is also possible that Vivaldi was simulating illness – there is a story that he sometimes left the altar in order to quickly jot down a musical idea in the sacristy…. In any event he had become a priest against his own will, perhaps because in his day training for the priesthood was often the only possible way for a poor family to obtain free schooling. Vivaldi died on July 28th 1741.

My favorite: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. This concerto is unmistakably Antonio Vivaldi’s most famous work.  Having composed 500 different concertos, one of them is bound to be a hit, right?  Outside of the concert hall, you’ve heard movements of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in movies like Tin Cup, Spy Game, A View to Kill, What Lies Beneath, White Chicks, Saved!, Pacific Heights,and The Other Sister just to name a few.

Listen to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons