Friday, September 25, 2009

Digital Pianos

Nothing matches the sound, touch and feel of a real piano. But there are occasions where a pianist does not have a real piano at his or her disposal. On these occasions, the common substitute instrument is a digital piano. These vary drastically in quality, just as real pianos do.

Now and again I'll post entries here on my blog promoting the most outstanding models I've recently played. I hope this proves especially useful to readers who are in the market for a digital piano.

Yamaha YDP-223
On 8/30/09 I played for a wedding at St. Victor's church in San Jose. The keyboard instrument at the church, a Yamaha YDP-223, was surprisingly excellent. The touch and response were great and the piano sound was truly outstanding. I didn't check out any of the other sounds and functions of the keyboard -- I was strictly interested in the piano sound for the music I performed that day. The Yamaha YDP-223's current list price is $1,600.

Yamaha CLP-123
From August-October '09 I have been rehearsing and performing with the "Sullivan & Gilbert" production at the Douglas Morrison Theatre in Hayward. The theatre has a Yamaha CLP-123 keyboard in the orchestra pit. This keyboard has a nice response and touch, although it can feel a bit flimsy at times. I tend to play heavily and sometimes the response from the CLP-123 makes the instrument seem fragile. Nonetheless, it is a great keyboard from the famed Yamaha Clavinova line. The CLP-123 model has been discontinued by the manufacturer. To look at more current Clavinova models, you can go here.

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I must state once more that nothing beats the sound and feel of a real piano. Ask any seasoned pianist and they will tell you the same. Nonetheless, the digital pianos on the market are getting better and better. If you decide to go with a digital model, make sure you do the same amount of research you would if you were buying an acoustic piano.

Jesse

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

2009-10 Certificate of Merit Dates

Important dates for the upcoming 2009-2010 Certificate of Merit cycle:

2009
September 15 C.M. Registration Opens
November 15 C.M. Registration Closes

2010
January 2 Student Evaluation info - online forms open
January 20 Student Evaluation info - online forms close

March 6-7 North Region C.M. Performance Exams
March 13-14 North Region C.M. Performance Exams, Theory Exams at Chabot College

MTAC General Meeting in Castro Valley


This morning I attended the MTAC general meeting, held at the Castro Valley Center for the Performing Arts. All kinds of recriminations are threatened against active members who do not attend this meeting. Well, I made it to the meeting. My name is scrawled on the attendance sheet. Some 75 active MTAC members didn't show their faces. I guess they're gluttons for punishment.

This will be my 3rd year as a member of the Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC). Every meeting is awkward for me. I'm not great at casual banter. Usually I find a chair at the end of a row and keep quiet. My gender is poorly represented in my Southern Alameda branch. The ratio of females to males is literally 20 to 1. I do not exaggerate. Every time I step into one of these meetings I ask myself if I've taken a wrong turn at the Career Expo!

The assembled mass of teachers was talked at by various heads for about an hour and a half this morning. There are a few new rules related to the Certificate of Merit program going into effect this year, but nothing too significant. I will definitely plan to skip out of the meeting earlier next year.

Many of the female MTAC members have longtime friends that they rendezvous with at these meetings. Ladies are chatting it up like crazy before, during, and after the meeting, often to the detriment of whomever is speaking at the front of the room.

I enjoy my job as a teacher, and I am happy to be able to provide the Certificate of Merit program to my students. It is a program of study I undertook myself, all the way through to the end of high school. I can personally vouch for the benefits.

But the MTAC membership experience has been weird for me. I would love it if there was a more even balance between men and women members, but maybe that's unrealistic. I get to feeling like an alien after attending these things. Where do I fit in with this group? And other questions pop up, like, "Uh, does anyone here like Led Zeppelin?"

But we don't discuss the merits of John Bonham drum solos at these assemblages. Instead we reference William Bolcom piano etudes, and discuss performance practices for the music of Chopin. Fair enough, but too much of the dialogue is couched in antiquity.

I'll soldier on. As long as there's no obvious niche for me, I'll continue to work on hewing my own.

Jesse

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September 2009 Teaching Schedule

-- Monday, September 7 is Labor Day holiday. I will not be teaching that day.


-- I am performing in the orchestra pit for the Douglas Morrison Theatre production "Sullivan & Gilbert". The performances run from September 25 through October 11.

Also, there are dress rehearsals every evening the week of September 21, leading up to opening night. As a result of my involvement in these rehearsals, I will be ending my teaching early - at 6:30pm - on the evenings of 9/21, 9/22, and 9/24.


This is post #50 on my blog. Hooray for productivity!


Thanks,

Jesse

Fall 2009 - Spring 2010 Studio happenings

Dear Students & Parents:

Here’s a note about some of the things that will be happening in my teaching studio from Fall 2009 through Spring 2010.

1)
Music history -- listening and quizzes
I am preparing a program of study that will take interested students through the different periods of music history, teaching them about the famous composers and music from each period. The months of September and October will be spent learning about the Baroque Period (1600-1750). The following two months will focus on the Classical Period (1750-1825), and so on.
Listening examples will be available from September 1st via links on the front page of my website --
www.micekmusic.com -- along with composer biographies and other helpful material. At the end of October, I will present a listening test to participating students.
(*If you prefer not to download the audio online, you can purchase a compilation CD of all the listening examples from me for $10)

2)
July 2009 Recital DVDs
Copies of the July 2009 Piano/Guitar Recital DVD are available for a fee of $5. You can watch a promo clip of the recital on my website.

3)
December 2009 Recital
There will be another joint piano and guitar recital in December. We are leaning toward Sunday, December 13th as the date, but we haven’t reserved the CSUEB recital hall yet, so this may change. I will keep you posted.

4)
Certificate of Merit program -- Spring 2010
I will be presenting the Certificate of Merit program again in Spring 2010. This is for students & parents who wish to mark the student’s progress with yearly performance and music theory evaluations. Participation is encouraged. There is a minimal fee. If the student fulfills all the required elements for their level, they receive a certificate acknowledging their accomplishment.
More information can be found at www.mtac.org

5)
Composing Scenarios -- a composition exercises workbook
In recent months, I have been working on developing a workbook for students interested in composing their own music. The title of this series is “Composing Scenarios”. The first book is still a rough draft at this point, but I am willing to share the material with motivated students who would like to help me develop the book and also develop their abilities as young composers.

Lastly,
6)
Student Binders
I would like all of my students who have not already done so to organize a binder for ongoing use in our lessons. The binder should contain dividers labelled with these titles:
-
Practice notes (fill this section with at least a dozen sheets of notebook paper)
-
Technique
-
Miscellaneous (a place for any handouts from me, etc.)

Thank you!
Jesse
jessemicek@yahoo.com

The Baroque Period











The Baroque Period (1600-1760)
The term Baroque is used to describe the style of music written from approximately 1600 to 1750. This title was originally used to describe a style of art and architecture of highly decorative and extravagant design in the 17th and 18th centuries. The elaborate detail of design during the Baroque period can also be seen in the furniture of the era. It was a time when people wore lavish clothes and ornamented themselves with ruffles, jewels, and powdered wigs.
Most Baroque musicians worked as servants of a royal court, church, or town. Their music reflected their occupations. Court musicians wrote dances and music for concerts and royal ceremonies. Church musicians wrote instrumental and vocal music for church services and oratorios and masses for special occasions. Some musicians were supported by patrons who expected the composer to write music for them. Most Baroque musicians were composers, performers, conductors, and also teachers. You can imagine how busy these individuals must have been!
Before the invention of the piano, keyboard music was written for the clavichord, harpsichord, and organ. The clavichord produces a small, delicate sound and was used mainly in small rooms as a practice instrument and also an aid for composition. The harpsichord has a bigger sound and was the favored keyboard instrument during the Baroque period. The organ was capable of producing a great sound and variety of effects. Used primarily for church services, the Baroque organ resembled the organs we still find in churches today.
Baroque keyboard music was frequently written in polyphonic texture, and a common form of composition was binary form. Much of the music was written to accompany dances, such as the minuet, gavotte, gigue, polonaise, march, bourree, and courante. The prelude was also an important type of composition during the Baroque era. Preludes are often intended to precede other pieces, as introductory music. The form of a prelude tends to be free and improvisatory. Johann Sebastian Bach wrote many preludes for his students, as exercises for developing keyboard technique.
A compositional technique known as counterpoint was developed and perfected in the Baroque era. Counterpoint involves combining two or more contrasting themes in a way that sounds unified. Examples of counterpoint are inventions and fugues.
The practice of embellishing a piece with ornaments was characteristic of the style of music performance in the Baroque period. Ornaments - such as trills, grace notes, turns, and rapid scale passages - were not always written in the musical score by the composer. It was customary that these be added at the performer’s discretion, to enhance the expressive quality of the music. This ornamentation was especially common for slower pieces, and also when repeating a section of a piece. It was considered unimaginative to repeat a section of music without adding any alterations. On the harpsichord or clavichord, where the decay of the sound occurs quickly after a note is struck, ornaments help provide resonance and give extended duration to the sound.
Composers of the Baroque period seldom wrote dynamic or articulation markings in the music. As with ornamentation, these issues of interpretation were left to the musical taste of the performer.
Baroque music reached its highest peak in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. To this day, many still believe that he is the greatest musician and composer to have ever lived.
Notable Baroque Composers:

Important musical characteristics of the Baroque Period:
      • Polyphonic texture
      • Use of ornamentation
      • Compositions for dance forms (often a full dance suite)
      • Limited use of dynamic and expression marks by composers 

    Johann Sebastian Bach

    Johann Sebastian Bach

    Lived: 1685-1750
    Country: Germany
    Most Famous Works:
    Too many to list!

    Listening Links:

    Toccata & Fugue in D Minor

    E. Power Biggs - Bach: Works for Organ - Toccata and Fugue, for Organ in D Minor, BWV 565: Toccata

    Prelude & Fugue in C Major (from The Well-Tempered Clavier)

    Christiane Jaccottet - 100 Classical Essentials - Well Tempered Clavier, Book I, BWV 846, Prelude and Fugue In C Major

    Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (from Cantata 147)

    Drew Minter, Jan Opalach, Jane Bryden, Jeffrey Thomas, Joshua Rifkin & The Bach Ensemble - J.S. Bach: 6 Favourite Cantatas - Cantata 147 "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben", BWV 147: I. Coro: "Herz Und Mund Und Tat Und Leben"

    Suite for Cello Solo No. 1 in G

    János Starker - Bach, J.S.: Suites for Solo Cello & 2 Cello Sonatas - Suite for Cello Solo No. 1 in G, BWV 1007: I. Prélude

    Johann Sebastian Bach was a Baroque composer, organist, singer and violinist. He was a master of counterpoint, and is particularly renowned for his church music, including the famous St. John Passion and Mass in B Minor. Bach's music was "rediscovered" in the 19th century care of the "Bach revival" promoted by Felix Mendelssohn. J.S. Bach is now universally acclaimed as the unequaled giant of Baroque music, and one of the greatest musicians to ever live.

    Early Life of Johann Sebastian Bach

    J.S. Bach, was born in Eisenach, Germany on 21 March 1685. Orphaned at age 10, he went to live with his older brother Johann Christoph who gave him musical instruction on the clavichord.

    Bach came from a distinguished family of musicians and composers, dating as far back as the 16th century. In his own immediate family, only a few were not musicians.

    He married twice and had over 20 children, although several died in infancy. After his first wife, Maria Barbara died, he re-married, to Anna M. Wulkens, a singer. Among his many children, the ones who gained musical acclaim were: Wilhelm Friedemann, Carl Philipp Emanuel (C.P.E.), Johann Christoph Friederich Bach, and Johann Christian Bach (J.C.).

    German Protestant Musician

    Bach was a devoted German Protestant. All of his compositions were dedicated with the inscription: ‘To the Greater Glory of God’. His sacred music includes about 200 church cantatas, the Easter and Christmas oratorios, masses and magnificat, canons, chorales, and his two great passions, St. John Passion and St. Matthew Passion. These last two represent the culmination of his work in church choral music.

    Orchestral Music

    J.S. Bach's orchestral music includes his 6 Brandenburg Concertos written in 1721. These comprise a group of six instrumental works dedicated to Christina Ludwig, the Margrave of Brandenburg. Additionally, he composed 4 instrumental suites.

    Keyboard Music

    His keyboard music for pianoforte and organ, fugues, and choral music are of equal importance in his canon. These include a collection of 48 preludes and fugues, compiles under the title "The Well-Tempered Clavier", and the Toccata and Fugue in D minor for Organ (the “haunted house” music made famous by the original Phantom of the Opera). Among his organ music some of the finest works are the chorale preludes.

    Other Compositions

    J.S. Bach also wrote sonatas, partitas, chamber music and songs, and The Italian Concerto, a spectacular work for harpsichord, other concertos for keyboard and violin, and the collections of instrumental music from his final years at Leipzig.

    Last Years

    Bach had eye surgery twice in 1749 and became totally blind for a period. Miraculously, his eyesight returned for a while but during this same period, he died of a brain hemorrhage. He died in Leipzig on July 28, 1750 at the age of 65.

    Johann Sebastian Bach composed music for every genre of Baroque music except opera. His work has proved extremely influential on the composers who followed him. J.S. Bach may not have revolutionized musical forms, but he gave the musical world models to follow. His ceaseless creativity and tireless work ethic left a vast trove of music that is worthy of our continued appreciation.

    J.S. Bach's Most Famous Works

    • Toccata and Fugue in d Minor, for organ 1705
    • Cantata No.208 'Where Sheep May Safely Graze' 1713
    • Brandenburg Concertos 1721
    • The Well-Tempered Clavier, first book 1722
    • St. John Passion; Cantata No.147 (including 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring') 1723
    • Easter Oratorio, 1725
    • St. Matthew Passion, oratorio 1727
    • Suite No.3 in D (including 'Air on the G string') 1729
    • Magnificat in D major 1731
    • Christmas Oratorio 1734
    • Italian Concerto 1735
    • The Goldberg Variations 1741-42
    • The Well-Tempered Clavier, second book 1742
    • Musical Offering for Flute and Violin with Continuo 1747
    • Mass in B minor 1749

    George Frideric Handel


    George Frideric Handel


    Lived: 1685-1759
    Country: Born in Germany, died in England
    Most Famous Works:
    Messiah (oratorio), Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks

    Listening Links:

    “Hallelujah” (from Messiah)
    English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner & Monteverdi Choir - Handel: Messiah - Highlights - Messiah: 42. Chorus: "Hallelujah"
    Alla hornpipe (from Water Music)
    English Baroque Soloists & John Eliot Gardiner - Handel: Water Music Suites & Music for the Royal Fireworks - Water Music Suite No.2 in D, HWV 349: 12. Alla Hornpipe
    Ouverture (from Music for the Royal Fireworks)
    Aradia Ensemble - Handel: Water Music - Music for the Royal Fireworks - Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351: I. Ouverture


    George Frideric Handel was an English composer and violinist of German birth. He is famous for oratorio his "Messiah," anthem "Zadok the Priest," "Water Music Suite," & "Music for the Royal Fireworks." His life and music may justly be described as "cosmopolitan": he was born in Germany, trained in Italy, and spent most of his life in England. Handel received wide acclaim for his work during his lifetime. To this day he is hailed as one of the greatest masters of the Baroque period.
    Early Life
    Handel was born in Halle, Germany on February 23, 1685, the son of a barber-surgeon. His father wanted him to pursue law instead of music, but eventually caved in, allowing his son to study under Zachau, the local organist at St. Michael's Church. When Handel's father died in 1703, George permanently abandoned the study of law and gained employment as a violinist at Keiser's Opera House in Hamburg.
    The Italian Connection
    When Handel visited Italy (1706 to 1710), he received inspiration via meetings with Archangelo Corelli and Alessandro Scarlatti. Later, Handel was able to synthesize these influences and wrote a number of oratorios and operas using Italian styles of composition. His first opera Almira was performed in Hamburg. In 1710, he was appointed Kapellmeister to the Elector of Hanover Court.
    England Forever, Handel's Best Years
    Handel settled in England in 1710, and was appointed Kapellmeister to the elector of Hanover (the future George I of England). In London he prepared a staging of his opera Rinaldo. The performance turned out to be such a huge success that Handel decided to move to England permanently. He composed the operas Il pastor fido, Sila and Amadigi soon thereafter.
    He established his popularity further with the Water Music Suite (1717), written for for a water party on the Thames River. The following year, he became musical director to the Duke of Chandos, as well as director of the Royal Academy of Music. He wrote operas, solo sonatas, and suites for the harpsichord, all for the Royal Academy of Music. The theatre eventually closed, in 1728.
    Handel became a British subject in 1726. The following year, George II was crowned to the sounding of four of Handel's anthems including Zadok the Priest, which has been traditionally played at British coronations ever since.
    (*editor's note: an amped-up version of Handel's "Zadok the Priest" is employed as the anthem for the Champion's League, European club soccer's premiere yearly competition. The anthem is played prior to each match, and is incomparably stirring. Witness an example for yourself here)
    Handel's choral works include the masterpiece English oratorio Messiah, which was well received on its first performance in Dublin in 1742, and the later oratorios Samson (1743), Belshazzar (1745), Judas Maccabaeus (1747), and Jephtha (1752). His other works include the pastoral Acis and Galatea (1718) and a set of variations for harpsichord that were later nicknamed ‘The Harmonious Blacksmith.’
    Last Years
    Handel's last major public success came in 1749 with the suite for wind instruments Music for the Royal Fireworks in Green Park. In 1751 he became totally blind after a gradual failing of his eyesight. He died on April 14, 1759. More than 3,000 mourners attended his funeral, which was given full state honors, and he was buried in Westminster Abbey.
    Handel's Most Famous Works:
    • Opera Rinaldo, 1711
    • Instrumental Water Music, 1717
    • Pastoral Opera Acis and Galatea, 1718
    • Opera Giulio Cesare (Julius Cesar), 1720
    • Coronation Anthem, Zadok the Priest, 1727
    • Opera Orlando, 1733
    • Opera Berenice including the famous 'Minuet', 1737
    • Opera Serse (Xerxes), including 'Largo', 1738
    • Oratorio Israel in Egypt, 1739
    • Oratorio Saul, 1739
    • 12 Instrumental Concerti Grossi, 1740
    • Oratorio Messiah, 1741
    • Opera Semele, 1744
    • Oratorio Solomon including 'Arrival of the Queen of Sheba', 1749
    • Instrumental, Music for the Royal Fireworks 1749

    Claudio Monteverdi

    Claudio Monteverdi

    Lived: 1567-1643
    Country: Italy
    Most Famous Works:
    L'Orfeo (opera), Vespers for the Blessed Virgin,
    9 books of Madrigals (vocal works)

    Listening Links:

    Ave Maris Stella (from Vespers for the Blessed Virgin)

    The Scholars Baroque Ensemble - Monteverdi: Vespers Of The Blessed Virgin - Vespers Of The Blessed Virgin: Hymn: Ave Maris stella

    Claudio Monteverdi was an Italian composer. He is most well-known for his opera La Favola d'Orfeo (The Fable of Orpheus). His lifespan stretched across the late Renaissance and early Baroque periods, and as a composer he provided crucial contributions to the early development of opera. He specialized in composing operas, madrigals, and motets. He is particularly renowned for his skillful vocal writing.

    Monteverdi exhibited consistent development in his abilities from his first opera, La favola d’Orfeo (The Legend of Orpheus), to his last opera, L’incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppea). The opera he wrote to follow these, Arianna, is now lost in performance except for the famous work's famous "Lament".

    Monteverdi is often compared to his German contemporary Heinrich Schütz, a noted composer whose work also helped develop the opera form. Much like the 20th century composer Igor Stravinsky, Monteverdi showed a tremendous capacity to adapt his musical style according to the changing times.

    Early Beginnings

    Claudio Monteverdi was born on May 15, 1567, in Cremona, born to a surgeon. Claudio's father engaged the director of music of Cremona's cathedral to instruct Claudio and his brother in music. He was in the service of the Duke of Mantua as maestro di cappella for some eleven years, and later, became director of music at St. Mark’s church in Venice.

    Monteverdi's Other Compositions

    Besides his famed operas, Monteverdi's other works include some 250 madrigals, motets and sacred music, notably the Vespers. In 1630, he took holy orders after escaping the plague at Venice. From this period two more of his operas survived, the Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (The Return Of Ulysses to Country) and L'Incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppea).

    In 1610, Monteverdi dedicated his collection of church music, the Vespers, to Pope Paul V. This collection later became known as the "Vespers of 1610". These are a perfect introduction to Monteverdi's genius vocal writing. It was evident from the Vespers' opening chorus that for the first time, music was moving away from the private - the palace courts, and the like - into the public domain.

    Claudio Monteverdi died in Venice in 1643, at the age of 76.

    Monteverdi Key Works

    • Book 1 of Madrigals, 1587
    • La Favola d'Orfeo (The Fable of Orpheus), opera, 1607
    • Vespro della beata vergine (Vespers), 1610
    • Book 6 of Madrigals, including "Arianna's Lament", 1614
    • Book 8 of Madrigals, Madrigali Guerrieri e Amorosi (Madrigals of War and Love", including "The Combat Between Tancredi and Clorinda")
    • Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria (The Return of Ulysses to his Homeland), opera, 1640
    • L’Incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppea), opera, 1642

    Antonio Vivaldi

    Antonio Vivaldi

    Lived: 1678-1741
    Country: Italy
    Most Famous Work:
    "The Four Seasons" (Le Quattro Stagione), for violin and orchestra

    Listening Links:

    (all from The Four Seasons)

    Spring - 1. Allegro

    Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Alan Loveday & Sir Neville Marriner - Vivaldi: The Four Seasons - The Four Seasons - Concerto for Violin and Strings in E, Op. 8, No. 1, R. 269 "La Primavera": I. Allegro

    Summer - 3. Presto

    Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Alan Loveday & Sir Neville Marriner - Vivaldi: The Four Seasons - The Four Seasons - Concerto for Violin and Strings in G Minor, Op. 8, No. 2, R. 315 "L'estate": III. Presto (Tempo Impetuoso D'estate)

    Autumn - 3. Allegro

    Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Alan Loveday & Sir Neville Marriner - Vivaldi: The Four Seasons - The Four Seasons - Concerto for Violin and Strings in F, Op. 8, No. 3, R. 293 "L'autunno": III. Allegro (La Caccia)

    Winter - 3. Allegro

    Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Alan Loveday & Sir Neville Marriner - Vivaldi: The Four Seasons - The Four Seasons - Concerto for Violin and Strings in F Minor, Op. 8, No. 4, R. 297 "L'inverno": III. Allegro

    Antonio Vivaldi was a prolific Italian composer, violinist and conductor. He was widely known during his lifetime by the nickname The Red Priest (Il Prete Rosso), owing to his flaming hair color.

    Early Life of Vivaldi

    Vivaldi was born in Venice, Italy, on March 4, 1678, the eldest son of a professional violinist. Antonio was the only one among six children to follow in their father’s musical footsteps. His father, Giovanni Battista, was originally a baker but he eventually gave up this family trade to become a musician, finding employ at St. Mark's church as a violinist.

    Aged 15, Vivaldi began training for the priesthood and was ordained in 1703. At this same time he was developing his own skills on the violin. He received an appointment as the Maesto di Violino at the Pio Ospedale della Pita, an orphanage for girls in Venice, where music played an integral part in the curriculum. With Vivaldi in charge, the regular concerts given by the orchestra of the hospice were extremely popular.

    Career Change: Priesthood to Musician

    Soon after his ordination, in 1705, Vivaldi ceased to say Mass - claiming health reasons - and was permitted to stay at home. He suffered from chest complaints, possibly asthma or angina. This decision was to cause him problems later on when, in 1737, a production of one of his operas was banned by conservative religious authorities, who were disturbed that the composer was a non-practicing priest, and also alleged that he had had an illicit relationship with one of the cast's female singers.

    With the publication of Harmonic inspiration (1711), a collection of concertos for violins, Vivaldi firmly established a reputation as a virtuoso violinist. In 1713, his first opera, Ottone in villa, was performed in Vicenza.

    Music Teacher and Composer

    Vivaldi spent much of his church career teaching at a girls’ orphanage. He composed both for them and for himself. He was notorious for his careless spending and large ego. Because he was a nonconformist, he usually got into trouble and was a target of criticism, something he was extremely sensitive about.

    European Tour and Final Years

    He toured Europe between 1729 and 1733, and returned to Venice in 1739. In 1741, he travelled to Vienna, hoping to receive a court appointment. He died there on July 28 of that same year. After his death, there was a decline in popularity of Vivaldi's work but this was reawakened through the 19th century research of Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach transcribed a number of Vivaldi's concertos and keyboard works, and did much to promote and preserve Vivaldi's work.

    Works by Vivaldi

    Works by Vivaldi include some 20 Symphonies, 75 Sonatas, 400 Concertos - including the enormously popular Le Quattro Stagione (The Four Seasons, 1725) for violin and orchestra, 40 Operas, and sacred music.

    Vivaldi had a profound impact on the development of the concerto form, and greatly influenced 18th century music. He is best known today for The Four Seasons, a group of concertos for which he also wrote accompanying poems celebrating each season.