We’ve omitted silliness today in favour of a look at (deep breath) Vivaldi’s L’Estro Armonico, Op. 3, Concerto No. 10 in B minor for four violins, cello, and strings. Putting it simply, it’s Vivaldi’s truly wonderbar RV 580. A bit of inspiring high culture, eh, why not?
L’estro Armonico itself is a selection of 12 concertos Vivaldi concocted in his lab back in 1711. He’s arguably best known for the Four Seasons composition, which blasts in and out of, you guessed it, the planet Earth’s four seasons! RV 580 is just as emotive, and would be fitting to listen to on a crisp winter’s day as you don a bobble hat and walk out into a massive blizzard. What is your mission? To get to the local off license to buy some baked beans. They keep you warm for winter!
Antonio Vivaldi’s RV 580
As you can hear, it’s comprised of three “bits” (our knowledge on industry lexicon is astounding, we know) which rise and soar like an aeroplane (our similes are on bad form today, we apologise) rises and soars in the sky.
Brief History Stuff for the Uninitiated
A virtuoso genius, Vivaldi dabbled in opera alongside his extensive work with concertos, but was also a teacher and an ordained priest during his lifetime. As was the nature of the world back then, despite his abilities he didn’t find mass appreciation in his life and ultimately died in poverty.
This is a bemusing coda in the history of music. Whilst at least Beethoven enjoyed success and was mourned on a national scale upon his passing in 1827, the likes of Mozart (who struggled with financial issues and died mysteriously aged only 35), Vivaldi, and Bach didn’t find the type of adoration we have for modern composers such as Arvo Pärt and Henryk Górecki.
Others geniuses from the past chose to keep a low profile, most notably Chopin. He rarely performed at concerts, and spent most of his life in Paris performing for the social elite of the day in his flat.
The gulf in time between our generation and Vivaldi’s doesn’t allow us to understand social and economic factors of his time, so we can only read historical records in an attempt to comprehend why a man of his talent should die penniless.
Anyway, whilst the great composers from history may have been geniuses, what they could never do was go to their kitchen, get some sliced bread and a tin of baked beans, and make beans on toast. Take that, you talented folk and your extravagant abilities! We’ve got beans.