Vivaldi is 340 years old today

Long live the Red Priest.

Vivaldi’s importance is not simply (?) because he wrote music which ranks among the most sublime ever composed. But also because he ignited Bach (who learned of him through scores from Italy) into creating one of the greatest achievements of our species. Bach had already mastered German counterpoint (an art form that probably surpasses the iambic pentameter for its intellectual possibilities). With Vivaldi’s rhythmic propulsion and harmonic simplification, Bach was able to forge the basis for German art music, a form that lasted for more than a quarter of a millennium and remains one of the summits of human achievements. Here is what Bach first did with his encounter with Vivaldi:

But Bach over the years could marinate Vivaldi, and it would the influences would turn into something as unbelievable as this:


  1. Claire O’Brien clicking Like

  2. Thanks for sharing. It was neat to see how Bach indeed took Vivaldi and turned it into something even better. Also, I was surprised to learn that Vivaldi and Bach were contemporaries.

  3. That Vivaldi concerto for four violins is one of the most exciting pieces of music ever written – and the Bach version for 4 pianos is its equal. That was a wonderful performance of it. Thanks for this.

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