Le quattro stagioni, A. Vivaldi
When he crafted his celebrated cycle of violin concertos known as The Four Seasons, or Le quattro stagioni in Italian, Antonio Vivaldi sought and achieved timelessness. Much like summer inevitably follows spring and winter comes after autumn, his emotional, evocative music lives on and enjoys undying popularity. Hearing the maestro’s musical reimagining of the seasons is an exquisite opportunity, especially in the unique atmosphere of the All Saints Church in Rome.
An old Anglican church, All Saints is a fantastic venue for musical performances. Located conveniently in the centre of the Eternal City, not far from Piazza del Popolo, it has established itself as a place of worship and culture over more than two centuries. To offer you an unrepeatable experience the rendition of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons will feature a smaller ensemble composed of solo violin, first and second violin, cello and harpsichord. In this chamber format, the individual building blocks that make Le quattro stagioni so popular and revered will be even more discernible, and you will be able to enjoy every single melody and counterpoint.
Vivaldi composed the group of four violin concertos in the early 1720s. The scores were officially published in Amsterdam in 1725. The maestro likely drew inspiration for The Four Seasons during his stay in Mantua where he took to the life in the countryside fully. He collected sights and sounds from his rural surroundings and turned them into a masterful musical score. If you listen carefully, you will identify the flow of small creeks, the barks of a sheepdog, booming fireplaces, village festivals, buzzing bees and chirping birds.
The sheer imagination behind the concept of The Four Seasons was unparalleled at the time of their premiere, and it remains a paragon of musical onomatopoeia and inventiveness. To accompany their publication, Vivaldi also included sonnets that describe more clearly what characteristics of each season the concerts invoked. As a complete work of art, these four orchestral pieces came to define the maestro’s legacy.
There is no better way to get an intimate view into the beauty and musical metaphor behind Vivaldi’s greatest work than to listen to a minimalist arrangement that includes all major themes and complex harmonies that make it so very special. If you are curious about what makes these concerts great, the version of The Four Seasons playing at the All Saints Church in Rome is exactly right for you!