Vivaldi's Girls

Fiction - Mystery - Historical
158 Pages
Reviewed on 11/27/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Vivaldi’s Girls is a short work of historical fiction written by author Dick Rosano. Based on the real historical figure of composer Antonio Vivaldi, this sweepingly romantic tale takes place during his time as a music teacher in the Conservatorio of Venice. Here, the teacher beguiles more than one of his lovely young students whilst he attempts to teach them the intricacies of the violin, and there are more romances to come as he explores other cities beyond Venetian society. Told from the viewpoint of his lifelong friend Domenico Trapensi, this charming account of a very stylish and suave gentleman brings to life the high society and scandal of the age of Casanova.

This was a beautiful read from start to finish, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Author Dick Rosano has clearly done considerable research into the life and times of the infamous Antonio Vivaldi, but the thing that most impressed me was the description and attention to detail with which the story is told. There’s so much life, colour, flavor and excitement in the tale, and each woman who falls for Vivaldi is treated as her own person with her own quirks, beauty and reasons for finding the redheaded composer so beguiling. Although the work may sound biographical, the choice of narrator also enables the story to come to life more like a novel, as Trapensi’s direct involvement with Antonio allows us a unique insight into his life without losing the sense of mystery around Vivaldi himself. Vivaldi’s Girls is definitely a recommended read.

Amy Raines

Vivaldi’s Girls by Dick Rosano shares the love and creativity of music in Venice as well as the rest of Italy. A young musician with a limp in his gait, Domenico Trapensi finds himself praised and belittled by a life-long friend, Antonio Vivaldi, in most every conversation centered around music and the orchestra. Trapensi ends his career as a violinist as his father puts responsibility on him in dealings with the family import business. Trapensi courts and marries a young woman, Rachel, who shares his interest in music as she was once a student herself. Rachel becomes ill and must be taken from their home to a hospital to be cared for by doctors skilled in treating her ailments. As the days, months and years pass, Trapensi discovers subtle hints that send him to exact his revenge on his life-long friend for coveting more than just his audience.

Vivaldi’s Girls by Dick Rosano is a wonderful short story with a very musical yet romantic plot that fills the reader with the sounds of music enjoyed in Italy in the 1700s. It is very easy to get caught up in the roles of each of the characters as Rosano spins the tale of love, possible betrayal, and revenge. I love the way Rosano pours his soul into the pages of Vivaldi’s Girls, making the reader get lost in the feel of Italy with the music, the orchestra, and of course the impressive boat docks. I recommend Vivaldi’s Girls to anyone who enjoys slipping back through time to an era of music and hard work that spawned so many great love affairs with a vengeful twist.

Justine Reyes

Vivaldi's Girls by Dick Rosano is a historical fiction novel which centers around the renowned Italian musician and composer Antonio Vivaldi. The story is told through the eyes of Vivaldi's dear friend, Domenico Trapensi. Rosano opens his story with a stark scene at a graveyard in Vienna in the year 1741. Domenico reflects on the man he knew Vivaldi was and instantly readers are transported through time to another era.

Until reading this novel I had never heard of Antonio Vivaldi, at least I thought I never had. One of my favorite things about historical fiction is that it roots itself in facts and branches out into the romantic and, without fail, it always piques my interest. Rosano's novel is no exception, it is wonderfully written. Every scene describing Italy is vivid, every word drew emotion and painted for me a picture of the man Domenico knew as Antonio Vivaldi. "His great talent had always been making each person in a room believe he was the audience for whom the music was composed. But when I looked at Antonio and saw the thin smile on his lips, I was reminded once again that he only played for himself."

Vivaldi was a priest, a violinist, and a teacher and, through Rosano's dramatization, I felt a connection with Vivaldi's story and truly found myself reflecting on what I had read. I was enthralled, to say the least. Composed within its pages, Rosano's Vivaldi's Girls is in itself a sort of opera and and homage.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Antonio Vivaldi is perhaps best remembered for his iconic composition, The Four Seasons. Few people know of his attachment to the girls whom he taught to play the violin. He was a bit of rogue. Domenico loved music, too. He played the violin in his youth, often in the same orchestra as Antonio. They knew each other, but Antonio could be cruel at the same time that he was friendly. Domenico loved the musician for his music, but hated him for his passion for young girls. Especially the pretty young girl that agreed to be Domenico’s wife. Domenico was the only son of a prominent businessman in Venice and he was expected to give up his youthful folly of playing music and take over the business. He was also expected to marry well, which he believed he had when he chose Rachel to be his wife. It became a merger of two prominent businesses. But Rachel loved someone else, someone with the initials “A.V.” And Domenico learned to hate A.V. with a passion.

D.P. Rosano’s novel, Vivaldi’s Girls, explores the infinite possibilities of a man with a passion for music and an equal passion for young girls. But there is a twist in the plot. The reader anticipates the predictable and is surprised to learn an alternate explanation. It’s a rather sad story about two men: one of music, one of business, and both with passions that lead them to do unexpected things. Along with the growing dissertation of Vivaldi’s musical career, the author weaves a plot of romance and suspense. Mostly told in first person narrative, from Domenico’s point of view, the plot begins with the present day, the maestro’s sudden death, then weaves its way back to the beginning, to the birth of the two men and the love they shared. Or did they? Fascinating tale of Vivaldi and his music.