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That time of year folks, enjoy. :)
Need the Sheet Music? Go here. :)
Born: Venice, March 4, 1678
Died: Vienna, (buried July 28, 1741)
Another Italian composer and virtuoso violinist, Antonio Vivaldi is remembered today for the enormous number of concertos he composed throughout his lifetime. He most likely learned the violin from his father, himself a violinist at St. Mark’s in Venice. Antonio took holy orders to enter the Catholic Priesthood, and became known as “The Red Priest” due to the color of his hair. He became a teacher in Venice at the Ospedale della Pietà (a school for foundling girls) in 1703, and later became the director of concerts there. His music was extremely popular, and he traveled a great deal over Europe, spreading his fame as a violinist and composer. During the 1730s, however, his popularity began to abate and in 1738 he was dismissed from the Ospedale. Desperate, he eventually settled in Vienna in 1740, hoping to reclaim his fame. He didn’t, and he died there the next year, to be buried in a pauper’s grave.
The Largo and Presto movements from Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto in F Major for Recorder and Strings, RV 433, with soloist Hanneke van Proosdij, recorder, and the San Francisco Early Music Ensemble Voices of Music.
Such a far cry from the elementary music classes that feature the recorder.
The concerto is in three movements:
The first movement is in a fast tempo and begins with a ritornello played by the entire orchestra and then repeated by the solo lute. According to AllMusic critic Brian Robins, the ritornello “contrasts a tuneful opening theme with a more lyrical motif in the minor mode.” During the movement, the solo lute plays melodies in contrast to the ritornello. The movement consists of several sections, almost all of which incorporate a portion of the ritornello melody.
The second movement also consists of several sections. Robins describes this movement as a “reflective meditation by the soloist” against accompaniment by the violins and pizzicato bass. Robins praises the movement’s “exquisitely simple shift from triple to duple meter.” The third and final movement is another fast movement in a 6/8 time signature which Robins describes as having “a bit of tarantella-like feel.” The soloist also has the option of playing the half notes in the movement using a more vigorous 12/8 time signature.
Here in Sunny Alberta, our seasons don’t quite match what the calendar might have you believe. So while it may be that it has officially been spring for some time now, the threat of frost up until last week kind of detracted from any sense of rebirth or new life. But this week’s forecast is full of double digit predictions. I feel we are finally catching up with the calendar. It’s time to bust out the short pants and sandals; pump up the tires on your bicycle; and, as always, enjoy some Vivaldi.
The Four Seasons (Italian: Le quattro stagioni) is a set of four violin concertos by Antonio Vivaldi. Composed in 1723, The Four Seasons is Vivaldi’s best-known work, and is among the most popular pieces of Baroque music. The texture of each concerto is varied, each resembling its respective season. For example, “Winter” is peppered with silvery pizzicato notes from the high strings, calling to mind icy rain, whereas “Summer” evokes a thunderstorm in its final movement, which is why the movement is often dubbed “Storm.”
The concertos were first published in 1725 as part of a set of twelve concerti, Vivaldi’s Op. 8, entitled Il cimento dell’armonia e dell’inventione (The Contest between Harmony and Invention). The first four concertos were designated Le quattro stagioni, each being named after a season. Each one is in three movements, with a slow movement between two faster ones. At the time of writing The Four Seasons, the modern solo form of the concerto had not yet been defined (typically a solo instrument and accompanying orchestra). Vivaldi’s original arrangement for solo violin with string quartet and basso continuo helped to define the form.