Antonio Vivaldi

Antonio Vivaldi was born in Venice in 1678 and died in Vienna in 1741, making him a contemporary of Bach and Handel, and accordingly one of the leading lights of the Baroque style in music. The New Groves calls him “The most original and influential composer of his generation” -and certainly, both Bach and Handel’s own music were lightened and improved by acquaintance with his music. On the other hand, several of his contemporaries thought more highly of him as a violinist than as a composer: the contemporary playwright Carlo Goldoni remarked, for example, that he was an excellent ‘joueur de violon et compositeur médiocre’. That criticism of his compositional skill has most famously come down to our own day in the form of Stravinsky’s quip that Vivaldi didn’t write 300 concerti, but the same concerto 300 times. It is also true that Vivaldi sank into oblivion almost immediately after his death, not to be heard of again until the re-discovery of many of his manuscripts in the 1920s.

The standard catalogue of Vivaldi’s extensive musical output is, these days, the Verzeichnis der Werke Antonio Vivaldis, originally constructed by Peter Ryom, and hence giving birth to Vivaldi’s “RV” numbers to identify each work. I’ve prepared a sortable, searchable version of that catalogue (which is still being added to as new compositions are unearthed) here.

Personally, whatever his contemporaries or the modern-day musicologists think of him, I always enjoy a light serving of Vivaldi at almost any hour: his music is invariably distinctive, vigorous and highly expressive.


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Music Plays from my collection
(since January 9th 2021)

Date of PlayTime of PlayGenreCompositionLength
Date of PlayTime of PlayGenreCompositionLength