Vivaldi Had A Life

vivaldi profileOh yes he did! But which life did he have?

It started when he was born in…    a) 1658      b) 1668      c) 1678,

in the city of     a) Venice     b) Vienna     c) Verona.

Antonio’s Dad was musical too! He played violin in the orchestra of     a) San Sebastien     b) San Salvador     c) San Marco.

cardinalAntonio became a priest in     a) 1883     b) 1703     c) 1723 and his nickname was “The Red Priest” because      a) he wore a cardinal’s red robes    b) he had red hair      c) he had high blood pressure. Eventually, Antonio gave up saying Mass because     a) he gave up the priesthood      b) he upset people during his sermons     c) he was too ill and had to keep leaving the altar.

As well as being a composer and a priest, Vivaldi taught off and on at the Ospedale della Pietà which was      a) a children’s hospital     b) a leper colony     c) an orphanage for girls.

He did lots of musical jobs at the Pietà, but one thing he didn’t do was      a) violin teaching      b) composing     c) oboe teaching      d) conducting.

Vivaldi was a virtuoso performer on the     a) flute     b) oboe     c) violin.

He had a star pupil and friend, Anna Giró (or Giraud) who was       a) a nun     b) his brother’s wife     c) a singer.

flowersNow let’s find out something of Vivaldi’s composing career:

Vivaldi’s opus 1, published in Venice in 1703 or 1705 was     a) a set of trio sonatas     b) a set of oboe concertos     c) a set of motets.

He dedicated his opus 2 violin and harpsichord sonatas to     a) his mother      b) Cardinal Vincenzo Grimani of Venice     c) King Frederick IV of Denmark and Norway.

vivladi collarVivaldi’s opus 3 L’Estro Armonico was published in 1711 by the Estienne Roger company of     a) Amsterdam     b) Paris     c) Venice.

Another composer of the Baroque period made arrangements of several of Vivaldi’s opus 3 concertos. It was     a) J.S. Bach     b) G.F. Handel     c) Henry Purcell.

Vivaldi stated in a letter that he had composed      a) 56     b) 73     c) 94     operas, but only 50 scores have so far been found.

vatican soldiersIn 1723 Vivaldi’s operas became popular in     a) Prague     b) Vienna     c) Rome.

In 1735 Vivaldi and the writer Carlo Goldini produced an opera under two false names. Vivaldi’s was     a) Bentonio DiValvi      b) Attavio Vinalli     c) Lotavio Vandini.

Vivaldi’s last season of three operas in Venice was in     a) 1737     b) 1738     c) 1739.

Vivaldi was all set to go to Ferrara in 1737 for more opera performances, but he was prevented from doing so by     a) The Cardinal of Ferrara     b) The Pope     c) his father.

clergyOne of Vivaldi’s most famous oratorios (an oratorio is like a sacred opera with not much acting)  Juditha Triumphans was performed at the Pietà in     a) 1716     b) 1726     c) 1736.

One of Vivaldi’s most famous sacred pieces is his Gloria in D. It has 3 soloists. They are     a) a tenor and two basses     b) an alto and two sopranos     c) a soprano and two basses.

Vivaldi’s Opus 8 is     a) Gloria in D     b) The Four Seasons     c) Stabat Mater.

Each movement of The Four Seasons has     a) a descriptive sonnet     b) a dedication to a great nobleman     a) an optional bassoon      to go with it, dogand there is a musical dog barking in      a) Spring     b) Summer     c) Autumn     d) Winter.

The original edition was dedicated to     a) Anna Giraud     b) a Bohemian nobleman     c) the Pope.

The Cardinal Ottoboni of Rome had several of Vivaldi’s works in his collection. Among the collection was another version of The Four Seasons which turned up in a library in     a) London     b) Edinburgh     c) Manchester.

Vivaldi died in 1741 in     a) Venice     b) Vienna     c) Verona.

After his death, a nobleman from Genoa built up a vast collection of Vivaldi’s works. His name was     a) Count Orlando     b) Count Stromboni     c) Count Durazzo, but this collection remained “lost” until it came to light in 1927 and 1930 and was donated to the library in     a) Venice     b) Turin     c) Rome.

You want answers? OK!

This activity is a fun way to get you doing some research andto get you started on learning about Vivaldi. I’ve used lots of different books, websites, CD covers and scores. If you’re going to use this information in essays and the like, you might need to do more research and get some references to impress your teachers and examiners.

All the photographs used here are by Monkey’s Eye  and the caricature of Vivaldi was made by some students of mine  using as a basis, one by Pier Leone Ghezzi from 1723.



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