From Library Journal
Partially revised from the original 1991 German-language version, this minutely detailed biographical and analytical study of Vivaldi's life and works by Heller (historical musicology, Univ. of Rostock, Germany) is not easy to read. Inessential details abound, and the writing is plodding and pedantic. Vivaldi wrote an enormous amount of music, and the author attempts to say something about nearly all of it, perhaps one of the problems. Still, it is useful to have all the facts in one place. For larger music collections.?Timothy J. McGee, Univ. of Toronto
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Except for his music, not much is known about Antonio Vivaldi (1678^-1741). Born in Venice to musically skilled parents, he learned music from his father and later studied for the priesthood. Ordained at 25, he said mass for only a year until his asthma forced him to retire. He then dedicated his life to performing on violin and keyboard, teaching at a girls' school, composing instrumental and vocal music, and producing his operas and pastiches. He produced operas in Vienna, traveled to Dresden to try to be a member of that court, and had moderate success composing and performing in Mantua. Heller is most concerned with Vivaldi as pioneer of the Italian concerto form. As for Vivaldi's operas, most are lost. Indeed, were it not for collections in Dresden and Turin, Vivaldi's music would be unheard today. Heller successfully describes the political and cultural world in which Vivaldi struggled to make a living at music and also shows the effect his music had on other composers of the baroque and classical periods. Alan Hirsch