Vivaldi was born in Venice in 1678 and as a youth was a violinist at St Mark's Cathedral. For much of his life he was the music director of the Pieta, where he composed for the weekly concerts, while also teaching at Venice's famous ospedali, orphanages where children were taught music.
The Venice of Vivaldi's lifetime is richly evoked, an essentially musical city that lived for hedonism. In Venice all the social classes mingled in their love of music, aristocrats, gondoliers and workers would meet at all sorts of musical and theatrical entertainments and the city's carnivals would go on for months at a time. A city where one visitor to the opera commented that he could barely concentrate on the music because of the behaviour of the audience.
Erudite, entertaining and vivid Vivaldi's Venice is a biography of the city that was the muse of the mysterious young composer who rarely it. Patrick Barbier gives us an extravagant evocation of Venice, as well as a revealing musical portrait of the enigmatic Vivaldi and a complete history of the influence behind the baroque.