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Jamal Corrie @btriangle




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Finished School Composition, Il Prete Rosso!

Posted by btriangle - June 22nd, 2010

Well its finally done for all of you to see! However i will be extending this song to about 2-3min later, but for now you can hear what i have done.

If you like this song, you can download the MP3 here or get the score on
this site!

Also, please enjoy this video of our performance!

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Here was my essay on this piece!

The Legend of Antonio Vivaldi
The Baroque era was a tremendously intricate time where all forms of artistic creation were transforming into a much more advanced, yet still structured, form of art. The city of Italy, Venice, was regarded for being the central point of this transformation, which held home to one of the worlds greatest composers of all time, Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, or il Prete Rosso. Although Vivaldi is only known by most as the composer of the Four Seasons, he had actually spent his entire life as a composer and musician, and influenced dozens of composers that later transformed the style of Baroque music.
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi was born and baptized on March 4th, 1678 in the Republic of Venice, and later died of illness on July 28, 1741 in Vienna, composing over 500 concertos and 50 opera's. Ever since Antonio was a child, the Church and music had surrounded his entire life. His father, Giovanni Battista Vivaldi, was a professional violinist who would tour Venice playing the violin, and teaching Vivaldi the violin at a very young age. At the age of 15, Vivaldi began to take lessons on priesthood and composition, as well as continuing to learn the violin. When he reached 25, he was ordained as a priest, but decided to compose extensively for thirty years at an orphanage called the Pio Ospedale Della Pieta (Devout Hospital of Mercy) in Venice, which many nicknamed him il Prete Rosso, "The Red Priest", because of his red hair. After a slight struggle in maintaining his position at the orphanage, he eventually was promoted to Maestro di' concerti in 1716, in which he had to compose a concerto at every feast and teach the orphans how to play various instruments and music theory. For several years he continued to compose concertos, cantatas and many opera's for the orphanage and many other renown people, where many were impressed by his technical violin ability such as a German architect, Johann Uffenbach, who said that "Vivaldi played a solo accompaniment excellently, and at the conclusion he added a free fantasy [an improvised cadenza] which absolutely astounded me, for it is hardly possible that anyone has ever played, or ever will play, in such a fashion." His compositional technique's inspired many composers, most namely Bach who had written many pieces in the style of Vivaldi. In 1725, after returning from composing for the prince of Mantua, Vivaldi returned to Venice, where he composed the Four Seasons, which was inspired by the city of Venice itself. In 1728, Vivaldi had reached the height of his career, and received commissions from many European nobility, most specifically from Emperor Charles VI, who adored Vivaldi's music and desired for him to compose for him. Charles VI knighted Vivaldi, and granted him a gold medal and an invitation to Vienna, but the king died only a couple days after Vivaldi's arrival. Having no source of income or royal protection, Antonio died as a pauper, and was buried in a simple grave at the Hospital Burial Ground in Vienna on July 28, 1741. His music had also died with him, but had revived once more in the 20th century.
Vivaldi's compositional style and techniques were very unique outside the standard Baroque, and was the leading transition into Classical music. Vivaldi followed all of the rules of the Baroque style very well, but used many of the techniques so well that he almost took them as his own. The use of Tremolo and Trill were very common in many of Vivaldi's compositions,which were frequently played throughout the solo and tutti passages. Vivaldi had actually made the Trill, and augmented 2nd, possible through his music, which many composers followed after. He also used much syncopation in his music, which was out of the standard Baroque style. He would handle sixth and seventh degrees of the minor scale very well, and even made an octave a possible melodic line, which was seldom exploited. His most excellent use of his techniques would be the transitions from a major key to a minor key, which would usually go unnoticed and have a huge impact on the direction of his compositions. However the technique that Vivaldi used primarily the most and which was one of the leading factors into the classical era, was ritornello form.
Ritornello form was largely different than many of the compositions heard from Bach or Scarlatti commonly, in which the solo would interrupt vocal passages throughout the entire song. This is why Vivaldi was a very difficult composer for me, since i heard such a tremendous amount of expression in the Ritornello form (even sometimes feeling a bit romantic) which i related to deeply in my own compositions, but tried to avoid based on my own comprehension of expression, which is in a completely different style than that of Baroque. So I decided to focus my attention on Bach's compositional techniques that Vivaldi would have adopted first, such as fugue's, Basso Continuo, etc, basically trying to think and feel as structured as i possibly could. I then took that knowledge of tremendous structure, and then broke it apart to work with ritornello form, instead of Jamal Corrie form (which can be heard a little bit, but i try to avoid). In my composition, il Prete Rosso, i hope that it is clear that I am following this form. From measures 1-17 i deliberately cut off the Violin 2 and Viola, and than entered them together at measure 21. From measure 27 to the rest of the song, it jumps from tutti to solo quickly and slightly unnoticed, which i felt many times in Vivaldi's compositions, and can remember looking at the score and shocked at many of the tutti sections i didn't even notice.
Feeling as if i know much more about Vivaldi's style than i did when i first started composing, i can say that i wish i had made a lengthier song to fully give Vivaldi justice for all of his techniques, and to have an even more advanced knowledge of Bach's style so that i could easily combine it with Vivaldi. I also find that my main tutti section has too much going on, rather than focusing on simple harmonic passages and the entire Basso Continuo is slightly weak in the tutti. None the less, I feel proud with what i have composed, astonished at what Vivaldi composed, and i am striving to continue to learn Vivaldi's compositional style until i can call myself "Il Sacerdote Marrone" (the Brown Priest).'

Thanks again guys,