Vivaldi’s Four Seasons
Spring: This piece is the perfect description of spring. The constant repetition of the lively violins almost seems to “show” the blossoming new flowers. There is one point where a violin solos; the music that results suggests to me the delicate tapping of spring rains on my roof. I neglected to mention the opening of the song, it begins with a light section of violins. To me they sound like the melting of the snow and the absolute beginning of spring. The point in time where there is less of a chill in the air and you can feel spring approaching rapidly.
My favorite part of this part is a rapid, intense, beautiful crescendo of violins. I can see winter trying to come back with a mild snow. But the spring-like melodies come fighting back the onslaught of winter’s last futile attempt. Each note in this composition seems to be an inspiration to the upcoming note, with each note drawing strength from the previous one.
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This makes each note even more powerful and rich than its predecessor. This song is exactly like the spring: it is by far too short…
Summer: This song starts off slowly and mournfully, as though Vivaldi was trying to convey that he missed the spring. To me, however, it starts off exactly like my summers: very slowly with nothing happening. I am just trying to get over the fact that I am out of school. Then the song begins to pick up as summer gets into full swing, which is like my starting a summer job and getting busier. This part is even shorter than the spring and true-to-form, the song and summer will never last very long.
Autumn: This piece begins with a heart-pounding ATTACK of violins to show the fury of the beginning of fall. Everything has changed from a subtle and serene melody to a furious tirade of cold, frosty music. But there is a part of the song I enjoy very much, when the violins’ fury settles down. I can picture the changing of the leaves and their eventual peaceful flight from the trees. Antonio does not end the song there, but on the soft note of the first frost . This song is long enough, just like the fall season itself.
Winter: This song starts off on a very gentle note. It almost sounds like a waltz at first. I can picture the slow, rhythmic flight of snowflakes to the ground. The snow is the first of the winter season and it comes down in a steady cavalcade, but does not build. I can see myself as a youth playing in the first snow, even though it is less than half an inch. This part is the longest of all. Vivaldi must have done this intentionally, because the winter feels like the longest season.
I believe that is what he was trying to convey by that. And in a way, I am almost glad when the song ends