The last piece we will play for the Mock UIL program is Ocean Storm by Antonio Vivaldi. This piece has a lot of scale and arpeggio figures as well as string crossings that must be executed cleanly with a purity of tone that Vivaldi's music is known for. We must have impeccable position and flexibility in both hands to make this music sound and look easy! We also need to use a combination of blocked and independent fingering techniques for the string crossing and arpeggio passages. We studied quite a bit of Baroque performance practices last year when we worked on Barocca, but in case you forgot or need a refresher course, try this link.
Antonio Vivaldi lived from 1678-1741. His father was also a musician and taught him to play violin at an early age. As a young man, Vivaldi decided to pursue a divine vocation and was ordained as a priest in 1703, which earned him the nickname "The Red-Haired Priest." Not long after, Vivaldi began teaching and composing at Ospedale della Pietà, a boarding school for girls. This is one of the reasons he wrote so many concertos and concerto grosso, to cater to the musical talent of the girls of the Pieta. If you would like to learn more about Vivaldi, follow the link below.
Visual Art also had specific characteristics during the Baroque Era. To inspire you for our performance of Ocean Storm, here is a picture of the painting Ships Running Aground in a Storm, by Ludolf Bakhuizen (1630 –1708). Bakhuizen was a leading Dutch painter who specialized in painting the seascape and marine subjects in dramatic light. Holland in the 1600s was a center of maritime exploration and the art of the time reflects that status.
Vivaldi is best known for The Four Seasons, which is a collection of four Concertos for violin, each representing a season. Each season is represented in three movements, and it is said that Vivaldi wrote a poem to go with each movement for all four seasons. I am leaving you with another Vivaldi youtube video, this time of the seasons, to listen to and soak up the Baroque style. If you are so inclined as to study the score or want to try playing any of the Vivaldi pieces, you can follow the link at the bottom of the post to the International Music Score Library Project to find free public domain sheet music.
Research for this blog by: Sabryna Jackson & Celine Juarez.