Antonio Vivaldi "The Four Seasons".
Antonio Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" is one of my favorite and the most popular pieces of music ever composed. It is regularly used for commercials and television shows, as well as background music in movies. As a composer Antonio Vivaldi is widely known as one of the greatest composers of the Baroque Era. He is considered a musical genius in Venice and all over
Italy. He and his music quickly spread around the world. His achievements are remarkable and inspiring to any musician or composer. The unique techniques and musical elements he used made his music stand out (Cordell 62). Vivaldi’s concerto “The Four Seasons” is perhaps his most talented work that is accompanied by a descriptive poem on the same subject. Despite the normal threemovement concerto, this concerto had four movements, each movement representing the four seasons of each year. The concerto represented the four seasons of the year with a different tune for each season so one can hear the differences between each part of the year. Each piece of music was composed in different tunes: Concerto No.1 in E Major, which was "The Spring", Concerto No.2 in G Minor, which was "The Summer", Concerto No.3 in F Major, which was "The Autumn", and Concerto
No.4 in F Minor, which was "The Winter." In this program music, both the soloist and the ensemble work together to make visualization and the color that Vivaldi intended. In each
movement, there seems to be mercurial changes in mood and atmosphere as you listen to each.
The summer and winter movements involved musical painting of storms. (Pincherle 154).
The first movement solo “The Spring” is an ariatype violin solo with an orchestra
accompaniment. In this movement, the viola notes are marked with the words ‘the barking dog’ and the player emphasizes them as they are barking dogs. The soloists smoothing melody depicts a sleeping goatherd in a flowery meadow and ‘sweet rustling of leaves.’ These words came from the poems that go along with the music. “The Spring” has the contrast of the dynamics. As the solo violin plays mezzoforte, the viola is playing fortissimo with first and second violins accompanying with the dynamic marking of pianissimo. This piece was actually a general custom on the Baroque Era and the eighteenth century to use themes of other pieces of music for other styles of music (Pincherle 29, 105).
In “The Summer” at the end of the movement, there is an orchestral storm type. This is
when Vivaldi shows off his highest musical painting abilities (Maxham 81). Also in this movement, it contains a descending run that is played entirely in the fifth position to attain a bariolage on the third and fourth strings (Pincherle 93).
The solo that begins the autumn movement takes up the theme as an echo to give a body to the movement. That continues throughout the entire movement. The winter movement opens out with a running solo line with the pervasive energy. The beginning of the movement has the most coloristic detail out of all of the four movements (Maxham 276). “The Winter” is said to be somewhat inferior to others. It is a fragmented composition and a mosaic of monotonous small effects. There is nothing unexpected except for the figurations that paint a story of a cautious
step of a pedestrian on the frozen ground and falling and shattering the ice. Each movement has its own characteristics in the music that musically