(pub. 7.1.12) 48 pages
A True Tale with A Cherry On Top
C haracter: Antonio Vivaldi
O verview from the jacket flap:
"In eighteenth-century Venice, Italy, the city is afloat with music. The finest performances are heard at an orphanage called the Ospedale della Pieta. Hidden from the audience behind a screen, an orchestra consisting of young orphan girls dazzles devoted fans.
Encouraged by the imagination of their music teacher Antonio Vivaldi, the girls ind stories and characters in each composition they play. But the governors of the orphanage frown upon Vivaldi's fanciful ways.
When Vivaldi and his students are separated, the musician is inspired to compose a set of concertos that mark the passing of time - the great baroque masterpiece entitled The Four Seasons. With the help of Anna Maria, the oldest girl, the young musicians find the courage to bring Vivaldi's musical stories to life on their own in this heartwarming story of friendship, imagination, and the transformative power of music."
T antalizing taste:
"Vivaldi became an international success.
Still, something was missing: the rainstorms of the
Venetian spring, the buzzing bees of summer, the sweet
apples of autumn, and the frozen canals of winter.
With each passing season Vivaldi missed Venice more.
Most of all he missed his young friends at the Pieta."
and something more: I was fascinated to learn that Antonio Vivaldi, known as "Il Prete Rosso," was a priest who taught music to orphaned and abandoned girls, some with physical disabilities and illnesses, during his early career. How I wish I could have heard those orphan girls perform beautiful baroque music in Venice's St. Mark's Basilica. However, I savored listening to the CD (included in the book) of the Venice Baroque Orchestra's wonderful performance of The Four Seasons.
In the Author's Note of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Georgetown University professor of music Anna Harwell Celenza explains that when Vivaldi's "concertos were finally published in 1725, four explanatory sonnets accompanied them. According to Vivaldi, these sonnets [set forth in the back of the book] were written after the music was composed. I like to think that he might have created them with the girls at the Pieta in mind." I think so, too!