Do you agree with Stravinskys famous comments about Vivaldi?

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Do you agree with Stravinskys famous comments about Vivaldi?

Post by DanielFullard » Thu Dec 01, 2005 1:55 pm

Stravinsky famously said that Vivaldi's body of work consists of the same piece of music wrote 200 times (was it 200? may have been more)....anyway....do you agree?

I firmly disagree.....listening to Vivaldis work you can hear clearly the variety acorss not just his whole body of work but even in indivudal pieces.

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Post by karlhenning » Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:03 pm

No two leaves on the oak tree are exactly the same, either, you know :-)
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Post by DanielFullard » Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:05 pm

karlhenning wrote:No two leaves on the oak tree are exactly the same, either, you know :-)
Pardon....I missed your point lol

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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Dec 01, 2005 3:38 pm

It was 500 and I was not aware that that comment was made by Stravinsky, though I'll take your word for it.

There is certainly more of a family resemblance between Vivaldi's 500 or so concertos than there is among the six Brandenburgs. He was simply not as great a composer as Bach. But I always enjoy listening to him. Somehow he never fails to sooth me.

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Post by diegobueno » Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:01 pm

jbuck919 wrote:It was 500 and I was not aware that that comment was made by Stravinsky, though I'll take your word for it.
.
The comment has been made by just about everybody
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Post by Gary » Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:04 pm

jbuck919 wrote:It was 500 and I was not aware that that comment was made by Stravinsky, though I'll take your word for it.

There is certainly more of a family resemblance between Vivaldi's 500 or so concertos than there is among the six Brandenburgs. He was simply not as great a composer as Bach. But I always enjoy listening to him. Somehow he never fails to sooth me.
I always thought it was Copland who said that. I'm probably wrong though.
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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:24 pm

diegobueno wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:It was 500 and I was not aware that that comment was made by Stravinsky, though I'll take your word for it.
.
The comment has been made by just about everybody
Mark, how did you manage to get down to 75 posts? Did you re-register? :shock:

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Post by ch1525 » Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:25 pm

I'm pretty sure that it was Stravinsky who said it.

You know what I have to say about that? I'd listen to Vivaldi over Stravinsky any day of the week.

Of every composer I can think of, I'd say that, in my opinion, Stravinsky is the most overrated. Don't get me wrong, I do like some of his music, but not very much.

I hope I haven't offended any Stravinsky lovers.

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Post by DavidRoss » Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:38 pm

ch1525 wrote:Of every composer I can think of, I'd say that, in my opinion, Stravinsky is the most overrated. Don't get me wrong, I do like some of his music, but not very much.

I hope I haven't offended any Stravinsky lovers.
Nah. Simply saying you don't like his music isn't enough. You need to say that his music stinks and anyone who likes it is an idiot. That ought to do the trick.
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Post by karlhenning » Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:39 pm

ch1525 wrote:I hope I haven't offended any Stravinsky lovers.
Not in the least. I mean, I disagree with you about Igor Fyodorovich being supposedly "overrated," and I simply cannot imagine finding Vivaldi as interesting to listen to.

But no offense at all.
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Post by karlhenning » Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:41 pm

David! You are being cattivo! :-)

[Did you get my message?]
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dzalman

Re: Do you agree with Stravinskys famous comments about Viva

Post by dzalman » Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:45 pm

DanielFullard wrote:Stravinsky famously said that Vivaldi's body of work consists of the same piece of music wrote 200 times (was it 200? may have been more)....anyway....do you agree?
More accurately, what Stravinsky said was that Vivaldi didn't write 500 violin concertos. He wrote the same concerto 500 times. And although I get his rhetoric point, and agree with it as it was intended, I don't agree with it in reality.

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Re: Do you agree with Stravinskys famous comments about Viva

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:53 pm

dzalman wrote:
DanielFullard wrote:Stravinsky famously said that Vivaldi's body of work consists of the same piece of music wrote 200 times (was it 200? may have been more)....anyway....do you agree?
More accurately, what Stravinsky said was that Vivaldi didn't write 500 violin concertos. He wrote the same concerto 500 times.


Thank you for the important correction, DZ.

And although I get his rhetoric point, and agree with it as it was intended, I don't agree with it in reality.
Undoubtedly there is an important distinction that you have made perfectly clear.

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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:55 pm

karlhenning wrote:
ch1525 wrote:I hope I haven't offended any Stravinsky lovers.
Not in the least. I mean, I disagree with you about Igor Fyodorovich being supposedly "overrated," and I simply cannot imagine finding Vivaldi as interesting to listen to.

But no offense at all.
Then:
David, you are being cattivo.
Tis an evening for sarcasm, non?

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Post by jsvajgl » Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:53 pm

Bah! I've seen that quote often times before and wonder how it could have been uttered. Just compare Vivaldi's 'Amor, hai vinto' (I have the recording from the two disc 'Gloria' done by Hogwood and put out by Decca) with his cello concertos. I'm always looking for recommendations of stellar Vivaldi recordings, so if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

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Post by GK » Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:00 pm

I'm sorry that Stravinsky didn't enjoy listening to Vivaldi.

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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Dec 02, 2005 1:57 am

GK wrote:I'm sorry that Stravinsky didn't enjoy listening to Vivaldi.
But he did--once.

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Post by mahlerfan » Fri Dec 02, 2005 2:40 am

Vivaldi's bassoon concerti sound different from his cello concerti and his mandolin concerti, but I don't feel the urge to hear all of them.

Stravinsky was a real humbug though with plenty of nasty comments for alot of composers, I don't take him seriously, just his music. :lol:

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Post by rogch » Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:57 am

Vivaldi was forgotten for a very long time. Stravinsky may have had a point, but we know Vivaldi's music much better now than we did in Stravinsky's lifetime.

Stravinsky has plenty of funny quotes, here are a few of them:
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/autho ... insky.html
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Post by herman » Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:14 am

rogch wrote:Vivaldi was forgotten for a very long time. Stravinsky may have had a point, but we know Vivaldi's music much better now than we did in Stravinsky's lifetime.
Well, I had a stab at Vivaldi a little while ago, but after three or four pieces I gave up.

And, indeed, there's probably no composer who went on the record with some many nasty and hostile comments on other composer, dead and living. Of course Stravinsky lived in a time when composers, just like other kinds of geniuses, were constantly asked for comments.

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Post by karlhenning » Fri Dec 02, 2005 10:10 am

jbuck919 wrote:
GK wrote:I'm sorry that Stravinsky didn't enjoy listening to Vivaldi.
But he did--once.
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Post by Lance » Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:27 am

I cannot agree with Stravinsky's words at all. He must've had his head in ... the sand when he allegedly made the comment. Vivaldi was a genius beyond words. While there is a thread (or rope!) of similarity among his voluminous compositions, they are all different. Haydn may have written over 100 symphonies, but Vivaldi's output is reams ahead in terms of quantity. Quality is there as well.

Even the great JS Bach thought enough of Vivaldi's work to "borrow" from it on many occasions. Given what the "red-headed" priest of music did for a job—teaching and composing for a girl's school—his "work" was to write music, and write it he certainly did. His output is no different than many composers; some works will be shining brightly while others are less interesting or inventive.

If one is going to take on a whole day (half day?) of Vivaldi's music, one might tend to recognize the repetition (and become bored with it), which was, after all, the "style" of Vivaldi's day, and for a composer to come up with so many musical ideas and variations thereof, places Vivaldi in a class by himself. From concertos for practically every instrument (and many of each to boot), to concerti grossi, to magnificent choral pieces, he certainly was one of the most diverse and productive composers of all time. And certainly what Vivaldi created for the violin alone has hardly been duplicated by anyone else with all due respect to all the rest.

It does not surprise me, however, that contemporary composers do not always speak well of Vivaldi. For me, life is musically richer because of Antonio Vivaldi. He remains one of the cornerstones of the Baroque period much like Stravinsky is one of the cornerstones of 20th century music. And if I had to make a personal choice between Vivaldi and Stravinsky for the desert island, it would be Vivaldi, hands down. At least I wouldn't run out of music! :wink:
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Post by Cyril Ignatius » Fri Dec 02, 2005 3:22 pm

I'm certainly no expert on Vivaldi and tend to listen to works written much later, but I have really been impressed with several pieces Vivaldi wrote, among them a recording of the Four Seasons with Sophie-Mutter on the Violin. Only a genius could have written some of the pieces he wrote.
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Post by Ralph » Fri Dec 02, 2005 3:53 pm

That quote notwithstanding I continually discover both Vivaldi works I haven't heard before and genuinely noteworthy recordings of even the most familiar, e.g. The Four Seasons.

I listen to CDs of Vivaldi's music every week. I'm not bored. If others are, fine.
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Post by Werner » Fri Dec 02, 2005 5:11 pm

Can't hold a candle to Dittersdorf, can he?
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Post by Ralph » Fri Dec 02, 2005 5:44 pm

Werner wrote:Can't hold a candle to Dittersdorf, can he?
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Of course not but that doesn't mean he's not important.
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Post by Lance » Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:22 pm

Another point to consider on Stravinsky and Vivaldi: During Stravinsky's lifetime (1882-1971), the resurgence of interest in much of Vivaldi's music began around 1960 or thereabouts. During the ensuing forty (45) years is when Vivaldi's music was rediscovered and recordings abounded. Also Vivaldi's music began to appear more regularly in live concerts (yes, The Four Seasons, but other works as well, especially in chamber type concerts). Whatever Stravinsky heard or viewed on paper would have been a tiny fragment of what we know exists today. Stravinsky's comment, it seem to me, is completely out of line.
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Post by karlhenning » Mon Dec 05, 2005 9:21 am

Lance wrote:. . . Whatever Stravinsky heard or viewed on paper would have been a tiny fragment of what we know exists today. Stravinsky's comment, it seem to me, is completely out of line.
Probably. But, then too — (1) any composer is going to have some hard-edged opinions, and some of these will not align with our own opinions (or breadth of sonic tolerance); and (2) apart from (or parallel to) a long musical career of astonishing richness and creativity, Stravinsky was given to bon-mot pronouncements.

For myself, a little Vivaldi goes quite a ways: charming music, well made, always a delight. But he is so readily available on the air-waves, I never feel any internal motivation to run and put on a Vivaldi CD. YMMV, naturally.

(Where I do from time to time feel an urge to play a Carter CD — especially the Double Concerto for piano, harpsichord and two chamber orchestras, which Stravinsky called "a masterpiece" :-)

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Post by jbuck919 » Mon Dec 05, 2005 11:39 am

Vivaldi along with some other secondary baroque composers (Telemann escpecially) is my favority background music. He is perfect Tafelmusik and I never feel guildty because I am not giving him my full attention.

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Re: Do you agree with Stravinskys famous comments about Viva

Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Dec 05, 2005 1:51 pm

DanielFullard wrote:Stravinsky famously said that Vivaldi's body of work consists of the same piece of music wrote 200 times (was it 200? may have been more)....anyway....do you agree?

I firmly disagree.....listening to Vivaldis work you can hear clearly the variety acorss not just his whole body of work but even in indivudal pieces.
I agree with you. And I think it was 400, not 200. Despite his Pulcinella suite, Stravinsky's did not play a big role in the EM movement, and it says a lot about the dynamism and relevance of modern classical music that he composed the most important piece of 20th Century music a mere 13 years into the century.
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Re: Do you agree with Stravinskys famous comments about Viva

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Dec 05, 2005 1:59 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
DanielFullard wrote:Stravinsky famously said that Vivaldi's body of work consists of the same piece of music wrote 200 times (was it 200? may have been more)....anyway....do you agree?

I firmly disagree.....listening to Vivaldis work you can hear clearly the variety acorss not just his whole body of work but even in indivudal pieces.
I agree with you. And I think it was 400, not 200. Despite his Pulcinella suite, Stravinsky's did not play a big role in the EM movement, and it says a lot about the dynamism and relevance of modern classical music that he composed the most important piece of 20th Century music a mere 13 years into the century.
Well, it could also be interetpreted that the greatest modern music was already finished (and the entire art all but destroyed) by the disaster of WW I. I don't take that extreme view, but look how much of what we consider "modern" or 20th-century music was composed prior to 1914.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: Do you agree with Stravinskys famous comments about Viva

Post by karlhenning » Mon Dec 05, 2005 2:03 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:. . . and it says a lot about the dynamism and relevance of modern classical music that [Stravinsky] composed the most important piece of 20th Century music a mere 13 years into the century.
No more than it says about the 19th century, that Beethoven composed the most important piece of 19th-century music a mere three years into that century.

And, John!: Really, I think it's just carelessness on the part of people, when they describe Le sacre as "contemporary music" . . . .

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Post by karlhenning » Mon Dec 05, 2005 2:06 pm

Although this is one sobering comparison between Vivaldi and Stravinsky.

Who ever described any work of Vivaldi's as "the most important music" of any century?
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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Dec 05, 2005 2:46 pm

karlhenning wrote:Although this is one sobering comparison between Vivaldi and Stravinsky.

Who ever described any work of Vivaldi's as "the most important music" of any century?
You underestimate the importance of his early violin works. They were very innovative and influential, but people didn't think of "most important" in those days. Bach was pretty much unknown during his lifetime.
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Re: Do you agree with Stravinskys famous comments about Viva

Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Dec 05, 2005 2:47 pm

karlhenning wrote:No more than it says about the 19th century, that Beethoven composed the most important piece of 19th-century music a mere three years into that century.
What was it and by whose estimation?
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Re: Do you agree with Stravinskys famous comments about Viva

Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Dec 05, 2005 2:50 pm

jbuck919 wrote:Well, it could also be interetpreted that the greatest modern music was already finished (and the entire art all but destroyed) by the disaster of WW I. I don't take that extreme view, but look how much of what we consider "modern" or 20th-century music was composed prior to 1914.
My own choice for cut off is 1936, the death of Respighi. But I take your point. Formal classical music has been wandering in a wilderness for most of the century, to the point that I think it's virtually extinct. The 20th Century is the century of the interpreter, not the composer.
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Re: Do you agree with Stravinskys famous comments about Viva

Post by karlhenning » Mon Dec 05, 2005 3:17 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
karlhenning wrote:No more than it says about the 19th century, that Beethoven composed the most important piece of 19th-century music a mere three years into that century.
What was it and by whose estimation?
The Sinfonia eroica.

And of course, I agree with your (implicit) questioning of estimation. Comparison of the 20th century with centuries before, is problematic for a number of reasons. One reason is, by now, we have fairly well "digested" all of the musical 19th century. Where most of us are too ignorant of so much went on in the musical 20th century, to make any fair evaluation of it.
Corlyss_D wrote:Formal classical music has been wandering in a wilderness for most of the century, to the point that I think it's virtually extinct.
[ With tongue only somewhat in cheek -- ] how can you say this, when you haven't even heard any of my music? :-)
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Post by karlhenning » Mon Dec 05, 2005 3:21 pm

This is from another thread, but has some little applicability here, I think.
Blip wrote:The problem with comparing the contemporary scene to the late 18th century is that the comparisons don't include the mediocre composers of the earlier age, which would always bring down the average. You rate Beethoven and Mozart as a 10, naturally, but add in, oh, say, Benjamin Carr, Alexander Reinagle, Pierre Landrin Dupont, and James Hook, and the rating of the era drops considerably. The number of bad or unkown composers always overhwhelms the number of great ones, so that the whole age looks pretty medicore. ("I mean, except for Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven, the music from 1780 to 1830 just sucks.")

I'd rate Carter and Wolpe each as an 8 or a 9, but John Adams as a 3 or 4, and so on. In this way, every age that has ever been rates about a 5. Look at the winning percentages for the entire history of major league baseball. No matter how good or bad the reputation of a particular franchise, they all cluster around .500.
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Post by Volodya » Mon Dec 05, 2005 5:02 pm

I have to say that I agree with Stravinsky's quote about Vivaldi. The music of his that I've heard is so bland and redundant (I know; I know, he wrote over 250 years ago and maybe that has to be taken into consideration). However, J.S. Bach was a contemporary of Vivaldi's (and supposedly influenced by him!), and he is one of my favorite composers. Both were from the Baroque period, but one I can listen to while the other puts me to sleep.

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Post by karlhenning » Mon Dec 05, 2005 5:06 pm

And whatever one may say of the Danse Infernale du Roi Khastchei, it doesn't put you to sleep :-)
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Post by Volodya » Mon Dec 05, 2005 7:08 pm

karlhenning wrote:And whatever one may say of the Danse Infernale du Roi Khastchei, it doesn't put you to sleep :-)
Yes, Dr., Stravinsky's music is always exciting and interesting to listen to. Never a dull moment, is there?

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Re: Do you agree with Stravinskys famous comments about Viva

Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:56 pm

karlhenning wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:Formal classical music has been wandering in a wilderness for most of the century, to the point that I think it's virtually extinct.
[ With tongue only somewhat in cheek -- ] how can you say this, when you haven't even heard any of my music? :-)
Um . . . just a wild guess.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:59 pm

Volodya wrote:I have to say that I agree with Stravinsky's quote about Vivaldi. The music of his that I've heard is so bland and redundant (I know; I know, he wrote over 250 years ago and maybe that has to be taken into consideration).
You need to hear more. Maybe try some of his choral works or his operas - break out of the orchestral music if it all sounds alike.
However, J.S. Bach was a contemporary of Vivaldi's (and supposedly influenced by him!), and he is one of my favorite composers.
I can't help you with that. I understand there are substance abuse programs that have successfully weaned people from Bach, but I don't have the names of the treatment centers readily available since I never caught the wave . . . .
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Post by DavidRoss » Mon Dec 05, 2005 11:20 pm

karlhenning wrote:Who ever described any work of Vivaldi's as "the most important music" of any century?
Uhh...Bach?
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

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Post by karlhenning » Tue Dec 06, 2005 9:04 am

Bach admiring Vivaldi and looking to him as a model, sure; point cheerfully acknowledged.
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Post by Werner » Tue Dec 06, 2005 10:32 am

Corlyss, I'm amazed about your comment re Bach. I really thinkyou missed something there. Butit's not too late. Of course, thre is so much to choose from. So why not start small - the St. Matthew Passion, the B Minor Mass, the Goldberg Variations. You could have a ball!
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Post by Burchest » Tue Dec 06, 2005 6:36 pm

I read it was Stravinsky that said it and I also read it was Luigi Dallapiccola. Who really cares who said it because they were blowing smoke. Every composer does some recycling of one theme or another. Beethoven used the eroica theme in the Eroica symphony, the Eroica variations, the contredance and the Creatures of Prometheus. I have never read any complaints from anyone over Beethoven's many uses of the theme. In reality I too would much rather listen to Vivaldi then either Stravinsky or Dallapiccola.

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Post by Werner » Tue Dec 06, 2005 7:16 pm

Could that be because Vivakldi required less effort to follow than the others?
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Post by karlhenning » Wed Dec 07, 2005 9:19 am

Burchest wrote:Every composer does some recycling of one theme or another.
Change that to "many", and you will have a workable thesis rather than an easily deflatable generalization.

Still, you must mind the breadth of your brush. It isn't as though you can find two composers who worked 'exactly the same', so your "recycling" is a vague term awaiting some valuable deconstruction.
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Re: Do you agree with Stravinskys famous comments about Viva

Post by Irish_Graham » Wed Dec 07, 2005 9:55 am

DanielFullard wrote:Stravinsky famously said that Vivaldi's body of work consists of the same piece of music wrote 200 times (was it 200? may have been more)....anyway....do you agree?

I firmly disagree.....listening to Vivaldis work you can hear clearly the variety acorss not just his whole body of work but even in indivudal pieces.
Dont agree with that at all, very surprised he said that to be honest, Vivaldi had some highly diverse music.

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