Vivaldi Four Seasons

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Born in Venice on March 4th, 1678, Antonio Vivaldi was employed for most of his working life by the Ospedale della Pietà. Most of Vivaldi's concerti were intended for performance with his many talented pupils.

He  wrote what we know as programme music - moods such as pastoral scenes or storms.

1: Concerto No.1 in E Major, RV 269, "SPRING"
Allegro / Largo / Allegro (Pastorale dance)
2: Concerto No.2 in g minor, RV 315, "SUMMER"
Allegro non molto - Allegro / Adagio – Presto – Adagio / Presto (Summer Storm)
3: Concerto No.3 in F Major, RV 293, "AUTUMN"
Allegro (Peasant Dance and Song) / Adagio molto (Sleeping Drunkards) / Allegro (The Hunt)
4: Concerto No.4 in f minor, RV 297, "WINTER"
Allegro non molto / Largo / Allegro

He took four Sonnets, apparently written by himself. Each of the four sonnets is expressed in a concerto, which in turn is divided into three phrases or ideas, reflected in the three movements (fast-slow-fast) of each concerto.


Sotto dura Staggion dal Sole accesa
Langue l' huom, langue 'l gregge, ed arde il Pino;
Scioglie il Cucco la Voce, e tosto intesa
Canta la Tortorella e 'l gardelino.
Zeffiro dolce Spira, mà contesa
Muove Borea improviso al Suo vicino;
E piange il Pastorel, perche sospesa
Teme fiera borasca, e 'l suo destino;
Toglie alle membra lasse il Suo riposo
Il timore de' Lampi, e tuoni fieri
E de mosche, e mossoni il Stuol furioso!
Ah che pur troppo i Suo timor Son veri
Tuona e fulmina il Ciel e grandioso
Tronca il capo alle Spiche e a' grani alteri.


Under a hard Season, fired up by the Sun
Languishes man, languishes the flock and burns the pine
We hear the cuckoo's voice; then sweet songs of the turtledove and finch are heard.
Soft breezes stir the air... but threatening north wind sweeps them suddenly aside.
The shepherd trembles, fearing violent storms and his fate.
The fear of lightning and fierce thunder
Robs his tired limbs of rest
As gnats and flies buzz furiously around.
Alas, his fears were justified
The Heavens thunders and roar and majestically
Cuts the head off the wheat and damages the grain.

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