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Hey Kids, Meet Antonio Vivaldi
from the Hey Kid's Meet the Composer Index

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) Italian Baroque Era Composer

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Antonio Vivaldi was born on March 4, 1678 in Venice, Italy. Antonio's father, Giovanni Battista, a barber before becoming a violinist, taught young Antonio to play the violin and then toured Venice playing the violin with him.

At the age of 15, Antonio began training to become a priest. At the age of 25, he was ordained a priest and soon after became known as the II Prete Rosso, "The Red Priest", because of his red hair. Due to his health, he left the priesthood in 1703 after only 3 years. But he was still able to pursue a career in music.

Vivaldi's music is joyful, almost playful, revealing his own joy of composing. In addition, Vivaldi was able to compose non-academic music which means it would be enjoyed by many people rather than just college professors. It was these qualities that made Vivaldi's music very popular.

Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, composed in 1723, is a set of four concertos for violin. It is his most popular work and is among the most popular works of the Baroque Era. For this composition he wrote sonnets to match each season.

Spring

Allegro
Springtime is upon us.
The birds celebrate her return with festive song,
and murmuring streams are softly caressed by the breezes.
Thunderstorms, those heralds of Spring, roar, casting their dark mantle over heaven,
Then they die away to silence, and the birds take up their charming songs once more.

Largo
On the flower-strewn meadow, with leafy branches rustling overhead, the goat-herd sleeps, his faithful dog beside him.

Allegro
Led by the festive sound of rustic bagpipes, nymphs and shepherds lightly dance beneath the brilliant canopy of spring.


Summer

Allegro non molto
Under a hard Season, fired up by the Sun
Languishes man, languishes the flock and burns the pine
We hear the cuckoo's voice; then sweet songs of the turtledove and finch are heard.
Soft breezes stir the air… but threatening north wind sweeps them suddenly aside.
The shepherd trembles, fearing violent storms and his fate.

Adagio e piano - Presto e forte
The fear of lightning and fierce thunder
Robs his tired limbs of rest
As gnats and flies buzz furiously around.

Presto
Alas, his fears were justified
The Heavens thunder and roar and majestically
Cut the head off the wheat and damages the grain.


Autumn

Allegro
Celebrates the peasant, with songs and dances,
The pleasure of a bountiful harvest.
And fired up by Bacchus' liquor, many end their revelry in sleep.

Adagio molto
Everyone is made to forget their cares and to sing and dance
By the air which is tempered with pleasure
And (by) the season that invites so many, many
Out of their sweetest slumber to fine enjoyment

Allegro
The hunters emerge at the new dawn,
And with horns and dogs and guns depart upon their hunting
The beast flees and they follow its trail;
Terrified and tired of the great noise
Of guns and dogs, the beast, wounded, threatens
Languidly to flee, but harried, dies.


Winter

Allegro non molto
Shivering, frozen mid the frosty snow in biting, stinging winds;
running to and fro to stamp one's icy feet, teeth chattering in the bitter chill.

Largo
To rest contentedly beside the hearth, while those outside are drenched by pouring rain.

Allegro
We tread the icy path slowly and cautiously, for fear of tripping and falling.
Then turn abruptly, slip, crash on the ground and, rising, hasten on across the ice lest it cracks up. We feel the chill north winds course through the home despite the locked and bolted doors. This is winter, which nonetheless brings its own delights.



Free Sheet Music

Spring (Four Seasons) by Vivaldi for Easy/Level 2 Piano Solo
Autumn (Four Seasons) by Vivaldi for Intermediate/Level 3 Piano Solo


Free Worksheets

Antonio Vivaldi | Word Search
"Meet the Composer" Job Application | Worksheet


Free Lesson Plans

Homeschool Music Lesson Plans for Antonio Vivaldi



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