‘Spring’ from “the Four Seasons” by Vivaldi

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  • Topic: Baroque music, Antonio Vivaldi, Concerto
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  • Published : August 27, 2012
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‘Spring’ from “The Four Seasons” by Vivaldi

Antonio Vivaldi:

Antonio Vivaldi (4 March 1678 – 28 July 1741), nicknamed Il Prete Rosso ("The Red Priest") because of his red hair, was an Italian Baroque composer, priest, and virtuoso violinist, born in Venice. Vivaldi is recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread over Europe. Vivaldi is known mainly for composing instrumental concertos, especially for the violin, as well as sacred choral works and over 40 operas. His best known work is a series of violin concertos known as The Four Seasons. Antonio Vivaldi's music was innovative. He brightened the formal and rhythmic structure of the concerto, in which he looked for harmonic contrasts and innovative melodies and themes; many of his compositions are flamboyantly, almost playfully, exuberant. Three of the concerti are of original conception, while the first, "Spring", and borrows motifs from a Sinfonia in the first act of his contemporaneous opera "Il Giustino". The inspiration for the concertos was probably the countryside around Mantua. They were a revolution in musical conception: in them Vivaldi represented flowing creeks, singing birds (of different species, each specifically characterized), barking dogs, buzzing mosquitoes, crying shepherds, storms, drunken dancers, silent nights,

Extract B – Beaten by a horrid icy wind

Vivaldi Spring movement 1 Allegro: The tremolo of the violins suggests that the wind is headed in the person’s way and also it representing that atmosphere intensifies. The demisemiquaver in this piece means that the wind speed is picking up and turning into ’a horrid icy wind’ storm.

Extract C – We run, stamping our feet at every pace…

Vivaldi Spring movement 1 Allegro: The minor 6th that is repeated suggest that people are stamping their feet at every pace. The demisemiquaver in this piece means that the people are running faster every time that...
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