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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Vivaldi, parts 757 - 760

757. The tutor's story: When I was a child my father worked for the great composer and violinist Antonio Vivaldi in Venice. It was his job to copy out manuscripts and prepare them for the engravers. He was an adequate violinist, and sometimes he had the pleasure of preforming in Vivaldi's works if one of the regular musicians was absent.  

758. In Venice at that time there was an institution called the Conservatorio dell'Ospedale della Pieta. It was an orphanage, but unlike its usual counterparts for the destitute, it was opulent and extravagant. It was an orphanage for the female offspring of the aristocracy.

759. Who the parents of these girls were was not known; they were delivered to the institution in secret, in the dead of night. In a darkened street, in a wall there was an opening large enough for an infant, the child was placed in the niche, the door was closed, and a turntable rotated bringing the child inside. 

760. Even though the parents of these children never saw or acknowledged them, they nevertheless provided than with an institution suitable to their origin. But it was an orphanage run by nuns and priests and their manner when it comes to the bringing up of children was repressive to say the least. 

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