In the interests of honesty, here’s some music by a guy whose music I just don’t like very much at all. Antonio Vivaldi is one of the leading Baroque composers, and he’s uncommonly beloved, but whenever I listen to Vivaldi, I hear all of the things I dislike in Baroque music and none of the profundities a J.S. Bach brings to the table that blunt the impact of the stuff I don’t like. This is all purely a matter of taste, but so far as I’m concerned, the old saw that Vivaldi wrote the same concerto five hundred times really does carry some weight.
Yes, I had to perform this piece in college. Aside from enjoying the challenge of the trumpet part…nah, I didn’t even enjoy the challenge of the trumpet part. I just found this whole thing irritating. I have no rational explanation for this, any more than I have a rational explanation for my recoiling in horror from a plate of steamed broccoli. I’ve tried to be more fair to poor Vivaldi a number of times over the years, and in all honesty I find this piece more palatable than the ever-maddening The Four Seasons (I could live my whole life and happily never hear a bar of that work again), but there’s times when we just don’t like stuff, you know? But Vivaldi is an important part of musical history, so here’s Vivaldi’s Gloria in D.
Tomorrow: ‘W’ can go a lot of directions. Which will I take? Tune in!