3 March 2019

4 March

Antonio Vivaldi – Baroque composer

The success and the sadness in the life of musical priest 

Violinist, teacher, composer and cleric Antonio Lucio Vivaldi was born on this day in Venice in 1678. Widely recognised as one of the greatest Baroque composers, he had an enormous influence on music throughout Europe during his own lifetime. His best-known work is a series of beautiful violin concertos called The Four Seasons. Ordained as a priest at the age of 25, he also composed many sacred choral works and more than 40 operas. At the height of his career, Vivaldi received commissions from European nobility and royalty. He moved to Vienna after an invitation to be court composer but after the death of Charles VI he was left with no income or royal protection and died in poverty. Read more…


Birth of the Italian Constitution

Celebrations in Turin for historic Statute

The Albertine Statute - Statuto Albertino - which later became the Constitution of the Kingdom of Italy, was approved by Charles Albert, King of Sardinia, on this day in 1848 in Turin. The Constitution was to last 100 years, until its abolition in 1948 when the Constitution of the new Italian republic came into effect. Based on the French Charter of 1830, it ensured that all citizens were equal before the law and gave them limited rights of assembly and the right to a free press.  However, it gave voting rights to less than three per cent of the population.  The Statute established the three classic branches of government: the executive, which meant the king, the legislative, divided between the royally appointed Senate and an elected Chamber of Deputies, and a judiciary, also appointed by the king. Read more...


Lucio Dalla - musician

Cantautore inspired by the great Caruso

The singer-songwriter Lucio Dalla - cantautore in Italian - was born on this day in 1943 in Bologna. Dalla is most famous for composing the song, Caruso, which has been covered by many other artists since, including Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli and Julio Iglesias. The version of Caruso sung by Pavarotti sold more than nine million copies and Dalla was invited to sing Caruso in a duet with Pavarotti in a 'Pavarotti and Friends' concert in Modena in 1992. According to writer Raffaele Lauro, in his book Caruso the Song - Lucio Dalla e Sorrento, Dalla booked the very suite at the Excelsior Vittoria that Caruso had occupied during the final weeks of his life in 1921 and composed the song while staying there, inspired by his love for Sorrento, his respect for the great tenor and his fondness for classic Neapolitan songs. Read more...

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