Concerto for piccolo in C Major, RV 443
A. Vivaldi: Piccolo concerto in C Major, RV 443 was written in the late 1720s as part of three concertos for flautino (one-keyed traverse piccolo), although most likely it was played on sopranino recorder, which was more commonly used during Vivaldi’s time.
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (1678-1741) was an Italian composer, violinist, and Roman Catholic priest and is regarded as one of the most prominent Baroque style composers. He is known for his instrumental concertos (e.g., "The Four Seasons"), sacred works and over 50 operas.
Vivaldi was born in Venice and received his first violin lessons from his father who was a barber and professional violinist who worked in the San Marco Basilica orchestra. At the age of 15 he started studies to become a priest. He was ordinated at the age of 25 and received a nickname Il Prete Russo (The Red Priest) due to his red-colored hair. Due to his poor health (so-called “tightness of the chest” which most likely was asthma) and a habit of composing music during Mass he was released of priest’s duties.
At the age of 25 he started working as a master of violin at the Ospedale della Pietà orphanage in Venice. There he spent over 30 years composing most of his compositions: violin concertos, cantatas and sacred music. Since opera was the most popular form of entertainment in Venice at the beginning of 18th century, Vivaldi started to compose operas as a side job from his duties at the orphanage. Although Vivaldi composed more than 50 operas, he didn’t achieved popularity as many other opera composers of that time – Scarlatti, Galuppi or Hasse. However, he occasionally received commissions which associated with meeting kings and even pope Benedict XIII. Upon successful encounter with Emperor Charles VI, he moved to Vienna hoping to stage his operas there. Alas, the Charles VI died soon after Vivaldi’s arrival and he couldn’t manage to re-start his career, sliding onto poverty. Vivaldi died in Vienna in 1741 and was buried next to Karlskirche.