21 Aug 2009

The Life of Vivaldi by Jemimah

Vivaldi Caricature P.L.Ghezzi, Rome 1723

What is the name of the composer we have been studying this term? What can you tell me about his life?

Antonio Vivaldi.

He was once a priest and he was named The Red Priest because he had red hair. It was a normal thing for at least one of a poor man’s children to become a priest.

But one day Vivaldi became very sick and he could not work properly. Sometimes he had to leave in the middle of a service. People started to say to themselves, “What’s wrong with our new priest?” Finally they banned him from being a priest and said, “You are too sick to be a priest any longer for us.” He probably had asthma. Everyone said it was because he was born on the day of an earthquake.

Instead of being a priest, Vivaldi chose to be a composer and also he chose to teach children how to play his music. He worked in an orphanage in Venice where everything was covered in water. You had to have boats to get around. Wouldn’t that be funny! The orphanage was only for girls. In the girls’ orchestra they only played…everything! Vivaldi played the violin. You could not see the girls playing but they were there, coz otherwise how could the music be there? They were behind a curtain. The orphanage was called La Pieta. It looked more like a prison than a school. The girls were from all ages. They left when they were married. If they didn’t get married sometimes they never left.

Vivaldi wrote The Four Seasons and Gloria.


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