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Concerto in D

(Antonio Vivaldi)

Antonio Vivaldi was born in Venice. His father, a barber, helped him with his musical career and presented him with the Cappella di San Marco, where he played himself as a fine violist (some people considered Vivaldi's father a virtuoso).

In 1703, Vivaldi entered priesthood. He soon was called Il Prete Rosso (The Red Priest), presumably because of his red hair. From 1704 he was allowed to stop celebrating the Holy Mass because of his weak health, he suffered f rom asthma. Instead he became violin teacher in a girl's orphanage in Venice, the famous Pio Ospedale della Pietà. The orphans became very well trained in music and formed a famous ensemble, not only in Italy, but abroad as well. Vivaldi wrote most of his compositions -concertos, cantatas and sacred music- for this ensemble.

In 1705, Vivaldi published the first of his music collections, and many more would follow. Meanwhile he did the musical management of the Pio Ospedale, organizing concert tours and other musical activities.

Vicaldi was a quit prolific composer, writing over 700 works for orchestra and other ensembles. His works were quite innovative in his time, and well known amongst his fellow-composers, bearing in mind that even Bach arrangend one of Vivaldi's Violin Concerto's for Church Organ.

After the Baroque era, Vivaldi was virtually forgotten. Quite recently, in the twentieth century his works were rediscovered and published, contributing to the Baroque Boom of our days.

This concerto is one of Vivaldi's well-known works with a plucked instrument (mandolin) in the solo role. This piece is an arrangement of the string accompaniment that still sounds well without the solo. Of course a volunteer can drop in for the solo!