Classical music is a genre which appeals to many people, as well as Tunde Folawiyo. Like most classical music fans, he is aware of Baroque, a period of music history which took place between 1600, and 1750. Several important developments occurred during this time; the counterpoint was created, and the harmonic complexity of music increased.
Two of the most notable composers during the Baroque era were Monteverdi and Vivaldi, both of whom originated from Italy. Monteverdi’s work played a hugely important role in the transition from the Renaissance style, to the Baroque style. He is credited with developing two compositional forms, both of which were inspired by the previous era’s musical structures; the basso continuo, and Renaissance polyphony.
In his youth, he studied in Cremona with Marc Antonio Ingegneri; it quickly became apparent that he was an exceptionally talented violin player and composer. Just a few years later, in 1592, the Duke Vincenzo I of Mantua asked him to become one of his main violinists.
Monteverdi accepted, continuing to compose new pieces throughout his time in Mantua. As the years went by, he published several books of secular madrigals, as well as a number of operas, including L’incoronazione di Poppea and Orfeo. However, it was Vespro della Beate Vergine, a composition he created in 1610, which would establish him as one of the greatest composers of the Baroque period.
Vivaldi enjoyed an equally successful career, composing more than forty operas, as well as a variety of sacred choral works and instrumental concertos over the course of his lifetime. As a virtuoso violinist, most of his concertos were designed to be played on the violin. The most famous of these is undoubtedly The Four Seasons, a work which Tunde Folawiyo and other classical music fans may still be aware of today.
This piece, along with twelve other concertos, (including The Hunt, Pleasure and Storm at Sea) were published in the early 1720s, in a document called ‘The Trial of Harmony and Invention’. During this decade, Vivaldi was also commissioned to compose works for a number of foreign rulers, including Louis XV, the King of France. The most well-known of these commissions was La Sena Fedeggiante. Following in Monteverdi’s footsteps, Vivaldi then spent a number of years residing and composing in Mantua; it was here that he created and first premiered the opera known as Semimmide.