Vivaldi: Voice of the Baroque

 
9780006544166: Vivaldi: Voice of the Baroque

There is no mistaking the Vivaldi sound - what Professor Robbins Landon calls a "wiry, nervous sound, with that concentration of rhythmic designs which, once experienced, is literally unforgettable". Even those who have never listened to another piece of classical music know "The Four Seasons". Vivaldi's music is deeply personal and sharply characterized; the man behind it is fascinating - a Catholic priest who gave up celebrating Mass almost as soon as he was ordained and who shared his house with an attractive soprano; a lifelong invalid who could travel all over Europe when it suited him; a dazzling violin virtuoso whose compositions captivated Venice but who died poor and forgotten in Vienna. New compositions by Vivaldi are still being brought to light, as are letters and documents connected with his life. In this newly researched biography, H.C. Robbins Landon brings his expertise to bear on Vivaldi. Every document that sheds light on the composer's career is translated complete. The book's strength, is in Professor Robbins Landon's integration of analysis and biography, using each to illuminate the other and unravel the riddle of Vivaldi's identity and extraordinary gift. H.C. Robbins Landon, is one of the world's leading musicologists. He is the author of "Haydn: Chronicle and Works", "Mozart and Vienna", "1791: Mozart's Last Year", "Mozart and the Masons" and "Beethoven: His Life, Work and World"; and editor of "The Mozart Compendium", all from Thames and Hudson.

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From the Back Cover:

Vivaldi's music, with its characteristic concentration of rhythmic patterns and nervous energy, ranks amongst the most popular and well known in the history of classical music. But our knowledge of Vivaldi's life is sketchy and full of paradox: he was a Catholic priest who gave up celebrating Mass almost as soon as he was ordained and shared his house with an attractive soprano; he was a lifelong invalid but travelled all over Europe when it suited him; he was a dazzling violin virtuoso whose compositions captivated Venice but who died poor and forgotten in Vienna.

New works by Vivaldi are still being discovered, as are letters and documents connected with his life, many of which are translated in this biography. Here H.C. Robbins Landon brings his unrivalled expertise to bear on Vivaldi's identity and extraordinary gift.

'A fascinating account of an illustrious eighteenth-century musical career'
CLASSICAL MUSIC

'Robbins Landon gives us a vivid idea of what a musician's life must have been like in beautiful, merciless Venice in the early years of the eighteenth century'
HUGO COLE, 'Country Life'

'A generous book … Robbins Landon continues to honour the tradition he has established for himself as a musicologist in the service of those who love music.'
JONATHAN KEATES, 'Times Literary Supplement'

About the Author:

H. C. Robbins Landon's many books include "The Mozart Essays, Mozart and Vienna", and "1791: Mozart's Last Year". He is also the author of the definitive five-volume "Haydn: Chronicle and Works".

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