Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

The Four Seasons need little introduction. It’s a group of four violin concerti that give musical expression to seasons of the year. Antonio Vivaldi wrote them around 1716–1717.

The concerti were a revolution in musical conception: in them Vivaldi represented flowing creeks, singing birds (of different species, each specifically characterized), a shepherd and his barking dog, buzzing flies, storms, drunken dancers, hunting parties from both the hunters’ and the prey’s point of view, frozen landscapes, and warm winter fires.

Unusually for the period, Vivaldi published the concerti with accompanying sonnets (possibly written by himself) that elucidated what it was in the spirit of each season that his music was intended to evoke. The concerti therefore stand as one of the earliest and most detailed examples of what would come to be called program music. Vivaldi took great pains to relate his music to the texts of the poems, translating the poetic lines themselves directly into the music on the page.

Recorded live for ArtSound FM in Wesley Uniting Church, Forest, ACT, on 28 September 2019. Recording and notes by Tim Lamble with acknowledgement to the Wikipedia®.


Antonio VIVALDI: The Four Seasons (44m 31s)

[1] Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269, ‘Spring’ (La primavera)

[2] Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 8, RV 315, ‘Summer’ (L’estate)

[3] Concerto No. 3 in F major, Op. 8, RV 293, “Autumn” (L’autunno)

[4] Concerto No. 4 in F minor, Op. 8, RV 297, “Winter” (L’inverno)


Canberra Sinfonia with Harry Web Violin soloist and direction

Charles Hudson: Narrator

Listen Now