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Traces the life of the Italian violinist and baroque composer whose works were forgotten for two centuries until the rediscovery of his manuscripts in the 1920s.
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Grade 6 Up–Lavishly illustrated and well researched, this biography presents a portrait of the musician as an ambitious and politically rapacious businessman. After a quick description of Vivaldi's childhood, the text focuses on his career as a prolific and popular composer who died in impoverished obscurity. In a few deft narrative strokes, the authors highlight Vivaldi's contributions to Baroque music as they explain his revitalization of the concerto form, his exploration of complex musical notation techniques to make his compositions richer, and his ceaseless currying of favor among the nobility of 18th-century Italy and Germany. Although they clearly admire their subject's work, they don't whitewash his flaws; rather, they address head-on the reasons for Vivaldi's decline in popularity, including rumors surrounding his relationship with a protégé, his overweening pride and ego, and his loss of patronage through the inevitable change of musical styles in fashion. The back matter includes a fine glossary, a serviceable index, and a comprehensive bibliography. Although the Internet sites provided are authoritative, the list is not annotated. A fine and accessible alternative to Jeroen Koolbergen's Vivaldi (TODTRI, 1996).–Sophie R. Brookover, Camden County Library, Voorhees, NJ
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Gr. 6-10. It was rags to riches and then back to rags again for the composer Vivaldi, who started as a sickly little boy playing music in his father's barbershop in the late seventeenth century, became a priest, and rose to world renown, supported by kings and the church. Then he fell out of fashion and died a pauper. He was buried in an unmarked grave, his music lost for 200 years. The authors of this title in the Classical Composers Series don't sensationalize; in fact, the writing style is sometimes dull. But they give a strong sense of Venice as a thriving music center at the time, and there are lots of postcard-size period illustrations reproduced in rich, clear color. Readers will appreciate the honesty about the genius who worked the system, fawning over rich benefactors, turning out four operas a year and two concertos a month, and was beset by rumors that he was having an affair with a student. Best of all is the discussion of the music, especially The Four Seasons--music that was, fortunately for us, rediscovered. Hazel Rochman
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Book Description Morgan Reynolds Pub, 2004. Library Binding. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111931798206
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