Summer, The Four Seasons - Vivaldi [HD]<< Previous classical music pieceNext classical music piece >>
Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 8, RV 315, "L'estate" (Summer) by Antonio Vivaldi, in HD quality!
The Four Seasons (Italian: Le quattro stagioni) is a set of four violin concertos by Antonio Vivaldi. Composed in 1725, The Four Seasons is Vivaldi's best-known work, and is among the most popular pieces in the classical music repertoire. The texture of each concerto is varied, each resembling its respective season. For example, "Winter" is peppered with silvery pizzicato notes from the high strings, calling to mind icy rain, whereas "Summer" evokes a thunderstorm in its final movement, which is why the movement is often called "Storm" (as noted in the list of derivative works).
The concertos were first published in 1725 as part of a set of twelve concerti, Vivaldi's Op. 8, entitled Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione (The Contest Between Harmony and Invention). Vivaldi dedicated their publication to a Bohemian patron, Count Václav Morzin (of Vrchlabí 1676--1737), and in so mentioned the count's longstanding regard for these four, in particular (which had apparently been performed with the nobleman's orchestra, in Prague's Morzin Palace)—although his dedication may have been closely related to the completion of an Augustinian monastery that year, where Vivaldi, a priest himself, refers to Morzin, the church's dedicator, as "Chamberlain and Counsellor to His Majesty, the Catholic Emperor"—while (as Maestro di Musica in Italy) Vivaldi presents them anew, with sonnets or enhancements for clear interpretation. The first four concertos are designated Le quattro stagioni, each being named after a season. Each one is in three movements, with a slow movement between two faster ones (and these movements likewise vary in tempo amid the seasons as a whole). At the time of writing The Four Seasons, the modern solo form of the concerto had not yet been defined (typically a solo instrument and accompanying orchestra). Vivaldi's original arrangement for solo violin with string quartet and basso continuo helped to define the form of the concerto.
Sonnets and allusions
There is some debate as to whether the four concertos were written to accompany four sonnets or vice versa. Though it is not known who wrote these sonnets, there is a theory that Vivaldi wrote them himself, given that each sonnet is broken down into three sections, neatly corresponding to a movement in the concerto. Whoever wrote the sonnets, The Four Seasons may be classified as program music, instrumental music that intends to evoke something extra-musical and an art form which Vivaldi was determined to prove sophisticated enough to be taken seriously.
In addition to these sonnets, Vivaldi provided instructions such as "The barking dog" (in the second movement of "Spring"), "Languor caused by the heat" (in the first movement of "Summer"), and "the drunkards have fallen asleep" (in the second movement of "Autumn"). The Four Seasons is used in the 1981 film The Four Seasons along with other Vivaldi concertos for flute.
List of concertos and movements:
Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269, "La primavera" (Spring)
2. Largo e pianissimo sempre
3. Allegro pastorale
Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 8, RV 315, "L'estate" (Summer)
1. Allegro non molto
2. Adagio e piano -- Presto e forte
Concerto No. 3 in F major, Op. 8, RV 293, "L'autumno" (Autumn)
2. Adagio molto
Concerto No. 4 in F minor, Op. 8, RV 297, "L'inverno" (Winter)
1. Allegro non molto
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Classical music piece performed by: John Harrison — Violin / Robert Turizziani — Conductor / Wichita State University Chamber Players
Music licensed by: John Harrison
Music license: CC BY-SA 1.0
Music URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:01_-_Vivaldi_Spring_mvt_1_Allegro_-_John_Harrison_violin.ogg
Photo by: Maria McMahon
Photo license: CC BY 2.0
Photo URL: https://flic.kr/p/ctaj3E
Artwork: The Four Seasons, c. 1907-08
Mural after Alphonse Mucha by an unidentified artist and fabricator, possibly Mucha himself or under Mucha's supervision, in Chicago. Made for a house at 6502 North Sheridan Road, Chicago. The house was demolished, and the work is now hosted at Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows, Chicago.
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