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.
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The first recording of The Four Seasons is a matter of some dispute. There is a compact disc of one made by the violinist Alfredo Campoli which is taken from acetates of a French radio broadcast; these are thought to date from early in The first proper electrical recording was made in by Bernardino Molinari, and though his adaptation is somewhat different from what we have come to expect from modern performances, it is clearly recognisable.
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This first recording by Molinari was made for Cetra, issued in Italy and subsequently in the United States on six double-sided 78s in the s. It was then reissued on long-playing album in , and was once again reissued on compact disc. Not surprisingly, further recordings followed. I Musici followed in with the first of several recordings of The Four Seasons with different soloists.
The recording by the Academy of St.
Each concerto is named after one of the seasons. Each concerto has 3 movements sections , a fast, a slow and a fast again. The first 2 movements of "Spring" is the concerto on your course.
It features solo violin as well as an ensemble group of strings, a string orchestra. This could also be called a chamber orchestra, meaning a small orchestra.
Antonio Vivaldi's Four Seasons
Notice in the 2nd video below there is a keyboard instrument called the harpsichord. This was the fore-runner of the piano. The function of the harpsichord was to fill out the bass and inner harmonies as the ensembles were small. This was called basso continuo and is a feature of Baroque music.
The Four Seasons | work by Vivaldi | Britannica
As a descriptive basis for his Four Seasons, Vivaldi took four Sonnets , apparently written by himself. Allegro 1st movement Springtime is upon us.
The birds celebrate her return with festive song, and murmuring streams are softly caressed by the breezes. Thunderstorms, those heralds of Spring roar, casting their dark mantle over heaven, Then they die away to silence, and the birds take up their charming songs once more. Largo 2nd movement On the flower-strewn meadow, with leafy branches rustling overhead, the goat-herd sleeps, his faithful dog beside him.
- The Four Seasons - Video Game Music Preservation Foundation Wiki.
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This is an excellent example of early programme music, that which paints a picture, tells a story or creates a mood. Activity Watch the video below and listen to the music of the 1st movement of "Spring". What are your thoughts on the images used? Do they suit the music?
Related Spring (first movement: Allegro)
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