Musical Orphanage Outlet in Venice for Vivaldi

Musical orphanage outlet was his professional anchor.

Musical Orphanage Outlet in Venice for Vivaldi. Antonio Lucio Vivaldi ( 4 March 1678 – 28 July 1741) was an Italian[2] Baroque composer, virtuoso violinist, teacher and cleric. Four orphanages for girls existed in Venice, Italy. They taught females the art of music. Antonio Vivaldi worked at the Ospedale (orphanage) della Pieta. He was employed there for  more than 30 years. He duties included composer, violin maestro, and orchestral conductor.

When musical styles later changed during his employment, he lost his job. He went to Vienna, impoverished. After he died, no one even knew where he was buried until 1938.   My main source of reference is Landowska On Music. Wanda Landowska quotes Italian President, De Brosses.  The points made come in part from his:  Lettres familieres ecrites d’Italie (1739 – 1740). De Brosses lived during Vivaldi’s time. He gives a glimpse into the musical life of Italy.

Musical Orphanage Outlet
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Made its Premier With an All Female Chamber Orchestra at the Orphanage della Pieta. They were virtuosos. Not too many ladies here!

Musical Orphanage Outlet Description

  1.  Why were there four female orphanages needed in Venice? Girls were left in orphanages for three reasons (1) They were illegitimate. (2) They were orphaned. (3) They were placed there by parents who could not afford to keep them. Poor families often orphaned their girls. Hence the key words of this blog:
  2. How were they brought up? The State paid their expenses. They were trained exclusively to excel at music. De Brosses stated: “They sing like angels and play the violin, the cello. the bassoon; in short, there was no big instrument that could terrify them.” Hence the key words of this blog: Musical Orphanage Outlet
  3. De Brosses  stated about Vivaldi: “I heard him claim that he could compose a concerto faster than a copyist could write them down.”

Alas, Vivaldi’s music went out of fashion. His death was not even noticed. In 1938 it was learned that he died in 1741 and was buried in Vienna. That’s some 200 years in passing.  Vivaldi would be rich on royalties if he were alive today:

  • Walter Kolneder in Antonio Vivaldi: His Life and Work states: A unofficial survey of diners in Greenwich Ct. in the 1990’s claims: Today Vivaldi’s popularity has taken on such dimensions that it almost threatens that of other music.”
  • P.G. Goulding states in Classical Music: The 50 Greatest Composers and Their 1000 Greatest Works: “The 4 violin concertos that make up the Four Seasons are  most popular on many classical radio stations.”

Immediately below in Spring from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Solo violin is played and the orchestra conducted by Itzhak Perlman.

Image result for wikipedia picture of the season of winter
The four seasons, Enjoy Itzhak Perlman playing Spring on the youtube below.

 

What conclusions might we draw from this blog?  To make a living, one must know what is on the horizon and be able to respond, appropriately.  Genius does not guarantee a living. Also, everyone has their day in the Sun. That means it is necessary to put aside resources for a rainy day. As a musician, I greatly sympathize with the plight and challenges of all serious musicians- men and women. Even a genius like Vivaldi greatly suffered.

 

 

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