Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

#38: Vivaldi: Voice of the Baroque (H.C. Robbins Landon)

on September 6, 2013

I’ve come to accept the fact that I actually know very little about the composers and performers of classical music. During my years of study, most of my attention has been focused on their music rather than the story of their lives. That’s a situation that I can easily correct by reading some biographies…….and this was the first in what I hope will be a long line of such reading.

Before reading Landon’s biography, I knew of Vivaldi as the composer of The Four Seasons and the “Red Priest” who worked tirelessly with the girls of the Pieta. I was surprised to learn about his operatic writing and his questionable relationship with the Giraud sisters. The chapter entitled “Problems in Ferrara” was especially interesting as the biographer detailed the accusations of fornication leveled against Vivaldi and Anna Giraud.

While the book was primarily biographical in nature, the discussions of Vivaldi’s compositions — with special attention given to the operas, sacred compositions, and The Four Seasons — were insightful and well written. I found the book very approachable while being extremely informative.

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