Summary: the four seasons | Antonio Vivaldi

Famous jewel of Baroque music, the concerts of the four seasons are the most universal pieces of Antonio Vivaldi and his time. Published in Amsterdam within the collection Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op. 8, each one of these four concertos for string instruments named by title a season of the year.

Antonio Vivaldi
The instrumental ensemble consists of a violin soloist, of first and second violins, violas, cellos and double basses, with the support of the Basso continuo (harpsichord and organ). Often arise from several violins alone, joining the main violin, forming so called concertino of the "concerto grosso"; However, the solo violin emerges almost always on the mass of the rope, so that obtained an average among the "concerto grosso" and "concerto solo" on the diagram allegro-adagio-allegro.
Each concert is prepended a "demonstrative sonnet" for illustration of the images evoked in the music. Prior to the first concert sonnet, spring, start: spring is here and happy / birds greet her with his singing, / and sources to the sound of the soft wind / with sweet murmur flow in both. Then come lightning and Thunder, which the birds return to warble to cesar. This forms the subject of the first Allegro in e major, penetrated joyous vitality and full of chirping passages of violins alternate with smooth undulations and impetuous tremolos.

Antonio Vivaldi. The spring. Allegro [3' 35 ''].
The second time, long in c sharp minor, describes the dream of pastor, slept between the murmur of the fronds and with his faithful dog to the side. It is a song of violins and violas; a somewhat brief but powerful piece that is amongst the most beautiful inspirations of Vivaldi. The third time, Allegro, is a country dance.
Summerconcert in g minor, expresses the dullness of men, animals and plants under the heat of the Sun (under hard burnt Sun station / man and herd is mustian and burns the pine), accompanied by the sad warbles the cuckoo, Dove and the goldfinch, and winds, precursor of the storm that erupts after fierce fight. The first Allegro is, contrary to the custom, crumbled into several chunks, alternately agitated and sad; Second, and more than all the latter, which expresses the cries of pastor fearful of the Tempest, piece of complaining expressiveness with harmonies that modulate very daring chromaticism are especially beautiful.

Antonio Vivaldi. The summer. Allegro [5' 2 "].
The atmosphere of sadness of the second concert takes place mainly in the Adagio (removes lax members his rest / fear of lightning and fierce thunderstorm / and the furious wasps and flies flock), which is perhaps the time more beautiful, penetrated a sense of calm expressed in Impressionist, but idealized way in its form. The impetuous Allegro which follows describes the Tempest.
In the autumn, Concerto in f major, the first Allegro is a bacchic scene which ends with expression of weary abandonment (celebrates the villager with dance and songs / beautiful pleasure in the happy harvest / and Baco liquor abused both / ending in the dream her enjoying). Also here the tone of the end of the first half is continued in the second, another Grand Adagio in which the dullness is almost transfigured and idealizes in happy oblivion. The final Allegro is a hunting scene with imitation of the sound of horns, the description of the persecution of the beast, the last gasps of this and his death.
In the winter, Concerto in f minor, Vivaldi play, also with procedures that can be called, with regard to the time, impressionists, the sensations of cold and ice. The expression of the first time binds at this concert with the latter, while the Adagio is a soft quiet intermediate which expresses the serenity of the domestic home. The final, impetuosisimo, produces however a joyful impression that, indeed, responds to the final verse of the sonnet (so it is winter, and how much joy), as if the drama of the alternation of the seasons was resolved at the end in the enthusiasm for the creation of life.
Such enthusiasm is, ultimately, the meaning of this work of art, it seems in the midst of a musical inspiration from healthy Idyll of the 18th century, almost to relive the classic myth of Bacchus, personification of the eternal alternation of flourishing, decay and rebirth of nature. Rhythmic, especially in the parts of the violin soloist also hover over the element descriptive and are, revealing once again the author deep and great knowledge of the instrument the opulence and vitality greatly contributes to the beauty of the work.
Extracted from the website: Biografías y Vidas
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