August 8, 2017

Positivity: What makes Vivaldi unique among composers? He was a priest.

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 10:50 am

From Venice, Italy:

Aug 6, 2017 / 04:02 pm

While Antonio Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” echoes in concert halls and elevators around the world, for some, his greatest masterpieces are not the scores resonating spring, summer, fall and winter, but rather his sacred music.

Although less known, Vivaldi’s sacred music compositions, according to a researcher and expert on the musician’s life, is probably his greatest contribution to music – featuring an altogether unprecedented combination of deep spirituality and the contemporary trends of the time.

And this profound personal spirituality was rooted in what is likely a little-known fact for many: Antonio Vivaldi was a Catholic priest.

“I’m going to give you the most bizarre idea. Think of the Pope, who represents priests, spiritual things, and then you’ve got Jimi Hendrix, a superb guitarist. You put them together and you’ve got Vivaldi,” British researcher Micky White told CNA Aug. 1.

It’s a combination altogether “bizarre,” she said. “Vivaldi the priest, deeply spiritual, comes out in his music. Jimi Hendrix Vivaldi you’ve heard in the Four Seasons; it’s the most bizarre piece of music.”

“It’s timely, a priest wrote it,” and it’s meshed with the modern style of the day – a combination of two things that are essentially “polls apart,” she said. “That’s what makes him stand out among anybody. Bach wasn’t a priest, Mozart wasn’t a priest, nor was Beethoven, but Vivaldi was.

In listening to Vivaldi, it’s obvious that he was a very faith-filled man, she said, “you hear it in his music, you listen to it.”

White, who left a thriving greeting card company in England and moved to Venice to pursue an increasing interest in researching Vivaldi’s life, has become an expert and point of reference on the musician.

Not only has she published a book, “Antonio Vivaldi: A Life in Documents,” as the fruit of her research, but she was a consultant for a new display on his life called “Viva Vivaldi: The Four Seasons Mystery.”

The exhibit, located just behind St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, provides attendees with an indoor video-mapping show done with immersive HD images, surround sound and scent special effects such as scent and wind. It opened to the public May 13 at the Diocesan Museum, and will stay open during 2018.

One of the most famous Baroque composers, Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, affectionately known by many in his time as “the Red Priest” due to his auburn locks, was born in Venice in 1678.

His father, who was an instrumental figure in his life (pun intended), was a professional violinist, and taught his son how to play as a young child. The two then went on tour together throughout Venice, giving Vivaldi an extensive knowledge and even mastery of the violin from a young age.

In 1693, at the age of 15, he began studying for the priesthood. He was ordained in 1703 at the age of 25, and shortly after was appointed chaplain and Violin Master at a local orphanage called the Pio Ospedale della Pieta, or the Devout Hospital of Mercy. …

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