ANTONIO VIVALDI: OPUS 8, NO. 1-4 – THE FOUR SEASONS
“Antonio Vivaldi’s violin concertos, The Four Seasons, constitute one of the best known and best loved collections of string repertory in our time. Their programmatic nature makes them easily accessible to a general audience.” Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is now said to be the most popular piece of classical...conservative, pastoral-flavored backwater for the next four decades. It is the most recorded work of all time; and according to The Rough Guide to Classical Music, there are over 150 versions to date. This concerto, written in the 18th century, represents the crowning achievement in Baroque programme music during a period of extended musical expressionism in Venice and throughout Italy.
Although this work ranks high in popularity, little known facts about the “Four Seasons” is that for each of the four violin concertos –“Spring,” “Summer,” “Autumn,” and “Winter”--Vivaldi penned four sonnets to accompany each selection.
This detailed research paper examines the origin and construction -- specifically Concerto No. 3 -- of Op. 8 Nos. 1-4 in a way that enables the reader to distinguish what is extraordinary about this work, what constitutes the composer’s method of illustrating the solo concerto, and how Vivaldi’s brilliance takes us to a new and profound level of understanding the delights of programme music.
Boyden, David D. “When is a Concerto Not a Concerto?” Music Quarterly, Vol. 43, No. 2 (April 1957), pp. 221 --- The Art of Playing the Violin (London, 1751; facsimile ed. (London, 1952)), p. 1.
Campbell, Margaret. The Great Violinists, Great Britain: Granada Publishing in Paul Elek Ltd., 1980, pp. 5-9
Everett, Paul. Vivaldi: The Four Seasons and other Concertos, Op. 8, Great Britain: Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp. 72-5, 85-7
Green, Aaron. “Vivaldi's Four Seasons: Notes and Historical Information” Classical Music 1997. 13 Oct. 2005...
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