Vivaldi - The Four Seasons

Vivaldi - The Four Seasons

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The Four Seasons, composed in 1723, is one of Baroque legend Vivaldi's most famous works for violin. 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 English Concert, Trevor Pinnock


1-3. Concerto No. 1 'Spring;

The first movement of 'Spring' opens joyously, leading to a chirruping passage for three solo violins.

4-6. Concerto No. 2 'Summer'

Summer's opening movement unchangingly suggests the 'blazing sun's relentless heat' until birdsong once again fills the air.

7-9. Concerto No. 3 'Autumn'

'Autumn' depicts peasant life with a painter's eye for hues and colours. The opening 'Allegro' swings along to the sounds of peasant singing and dancing.

10-12. Concerto no. 4 'Winter'

 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.

13-15. Concerto for Oboe, Violin and Strings

16-18. Concerto for Two Violins, Strings and Continuo