Vivaldi Four Seasons: Winter (L'Inverno), complete. The Four Seasons, Italian Le quattro stagioni, group of four violin concerti by Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi, each of which gives a musical expression to a season of the year. They were written about 1720 and were published in 1725 ( Amsterdam ), together with eight additional violin concerti, as Il cimento dell’armonia e dell’inventione (“The Contest Between Harmony and Invention”). Vivaldi - The Four Seasons. The Four Seasons, composed in 1723, is one of Baroque legend Vivaldi's most famous works for violin. Here's a very special performance of one of the movements, from one of Europe's top chamber orchestras. We usually associate Vivaldi with Venice and the Italian sun. However, an orchestra has taken 'Winter' from The Four Seasons and turned it into something quite different.
The Four Seasons, composed in 1723, is one of Baroque legend Vivaldi's most famous works for violin. Here's a very special performance of one of the movements, from one of Europe's top chamber orchestras.
We usually associate Vivaldi with Venice and the Italian sun. However, an orchestra has taken 'Winter' from The Four Seasons and turned it into something quite different.
The Arctic Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra decided to perform this masterpiece in one of the most northern places on Earth, Telegrafbukta, Tromsø, deep above the Arctic Circle in Norway. The orchestra's Artistic Director and star violinist Henning Kraggerud performs the solo passages in a separate shot, filmed in the snow, ice and magical arctic light.
There's much more from the Arctic Philharmonic on their YouTube channel (the sound engineer for this incredible video was Asle Karstad, the video creator and editor was Håvard Bilsbak).
More about these incredible concertos...
Vivaldi wrote so many concertos that, much like Haydn and his symphonies, he tended to resort to nicknames rather than numbers, for ease. Each concerto of his Four Seasons corresponds to a different season – so it's easy to guess how he nicknamed this particular work.
The music is accompanied by beautiful Italian sonnets, possibly written by Vivaldi himself after he was inspired by painter Marco Ricci's paintings of the seasons. It's even customary in some concerts that a narrator reads the poems before the performance, to bring the musical story to life.
Listen out for the texture of the music representing winter, with the high-pitched plucking from the strings sounding a bit like cold and icy rain. There are also more descriptive labels dotted throughout the movements: the second movement of Spring is part-labelled 'the barking dog', while one section of Autumn says 'the drunks have fallen asleep'. You might even hear a passionate thunderstorm in Summer, with the balmy music representing a warm August evening.
|THE FOUR SEASONS:|
1: Concerto No.1 in E Major, RV 269, 'SPRING'
2: Concerto No.2 in g minor, RV 315, 'SUMMER'
3: Concerto No.3 in F Major, RV 293, 'AUTUMN'
4: Concerto No.4 in f minor, RV 297, 'WINTER'
One of the earliest uses of music was in the accompaniment of theatrical dance and story-telling, so it is natural that composers should from time to time produce what we know as 'program music' – music written to portray events, activities or moods such as pastoral scenes or storms. Music representing the moods of the four seasons has always been popular, and baroque composers such as Werner and Fischer among others produced cycles of concertos representing the fours seasons. But none were to do so in such precise pictorial detail as Antonio Vivaldi in his Four Seasons concertos.
As a descriptive basis for his Four Seasons, Vivaldi 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. The published scores (by Estienne Roger of Amsterdam in 1725) are marked to indicate which musical passages are representative of which verses of the sonnet. It is advisable, at least during the first few hearings, to follow the sonnets and music together, for they are bound up with one another to an extent rarely heard in any other programmatic pieces either of the baroque period or subsequently.
|ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741):|
The FOUR SEASONS
The Modena Chamber Orchestra,
Leader, and solo violin, Francesco Calvi
Caterina Montanari, harpsichord continuo
GLORIA in D, RV 589
Mimi Coertse & Ina Dressel, sopranos / Sonja Draxler, alto
Vienna Academy Chorus & State Opera Orchestra
Conductor Hermann Scherchen
This lyrical performance by the Modena Chamber Orchestra under Maestro Calvi reflects every detail of the original sonnets.... the birds of spring, a summer storm, the peasants' revelries when the autumn harvest is completed, the chattering teeth as the winter wind blows. English text of the sonnets is enclosed with the CD.
'Four Seasons' recordings are usually accompanied on a CD by some similar string concertos. The Baroque Music Club CD however has taken the opportunity to offer something different and a complete contrast in sound, with Vivaldi's magnificent Gloria in a wonderful performance full of sensitivity and detailing.
Here on one CD is something familiar, something perhaps a little less known. The Gloria will certainly prove a revelation to those unfamiliar with it.
Total Time: 74:51.
Click the image for full information and music samples.