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The music students who inspired Vivaldi and the city where they performed the great composer's works come to life in Corona's adult fiction debut. In 1695, three-year-old Maddalena and her infant sister, Chiaretta, are abandoned on the doorstep of Venice's Pietà foundling hospital. Groomed for the Pietà's renowned music academy, Chiaretta, with her pretty blonde looks and beautiful voice, earns a place as celebrated soloist and marriage to an aristocrat. Dark, quiet Maddalena remains in the shadows until she takes up the violin, and a controversial musician and cleric, Antonio Vivaldi, becomes her teacher. Vivaldi represses his romantic feeling for Maddalena and instead writes concert pieces into which they can both put their hearts. According to Corona, women like the orphaned sisters inspired the fervor and brilliance of Vivaldi's music. Fans of Tracy Chevalier's Girl with a Pearl Earring will welcome another novel about how a masterpiece is created. Corona shines when showing musicians at work, especially through secondary characters both real (opera star Anna Giro) and imagined (violin teacher Silvia the Rat). (Nov.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.