Vivaldi’s Four Seasons
a brief description
“For Blockheads: If you don’t like this, I’ll stop writing music.
Vivaldi upon completion of a set of Violin Concerti
Abbe Lord Antonio Vivaldi, incomparable virtuoso of the violin, known as the Red Priest, much esteemed for his compositions and concertos, who earned more than 50, 000 ducats in his lifetime, but his disordered prodigality caused him to die a pauper in Vienna.
Pietro Gradenigo, Venetian Chronicler, written upon hearing of the death of Vivaldi, age 60
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is unmistakably Antonio Vivaldi’s most famous work. Obviously, out of 500 composed concertos, one of them is bound to be a hit. You’ve heard many movements of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in movies like Tin Cup, Spy Game, A View to Kill, What Lies Beneath, White Chicks, Saved!, Pacific Heights, The Other Sister… the list keeps going, but I think I’ve proved my point. Perhaps you’ve attended a wedding where Vivaldi’s Four Season’s was played? In most cases, you have. If you stop and listen, chances are it’s playing somewhere.
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons was published in 1725, in a set of twelve concerto’s entitled Il cimento dell’armonia e dell’inventione (The Test of Harmony and Invention). Each concerto is in the distinct form of fast-slow-fast movements. Vivaldi’s Four Seasons especially appealed to the French. King Louis XV took a liking to ‘Spring’ and ordered it to be performed at the most unexpected moments.
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons are among the boldest program music of the baroque period. Antonio Vivaldi wrote the individual Sonnets to go along with each movement of the Four Seasons. What’s amazing is how accurately Vivaldi musically portrays each Sonnet without losing the overall quality and balance of the work. I strongly recommend listening to each movement of the Four Seasons while reading the corresponding Sonnets. It’s truly a unique experience.
As you listen to the wonderful Winter Largo, here is the Winter Sonnet Text:
1.Trembling with cold amidst the freezing snow, while a frightful wind harshly blows, running and stamping one’s feet every minute, and feeling one’s teeth chatter from the extreme cold;
2.Spending quiet contented days by the fire while the rain outside drenches people by the hundreds;
3.Walking on ice, and moving cautiously, with slow steps, for fear of falling, spinning around, slipping, falling down, again walking on ice and running fast until the ice cracks and splits; hearing Sirocco, Boreas, and all the winds at war burst forth from the bolted doors – this is winter, but it also brings joy!
About the music
Music is of course by Vivaldi- and yes you guessed it, from the Four Seasons, with some additional Vivaldi selections
Winter/Largo from VIvaldi’s Four Seasons with Bela Banfalvi, Budapest Strings & Karoly Botvay
Bob Clendenin emigrated to Australia with his parents in the early 70′s but returned to the United States to attend Cornell University where he barely earned a B.Sc. in Engineering in 1986. Knowing the world would be safer if he was not designing bridges, Bob went on to Penn State where he received an MFA in acting. After several years in regional theatre he came to Los Angeles in 1992.
The fish didn’t bite immediately and Bob survived with one job teaching an SAT prep class and another job that involved wearing a hairnet. This went on far too long, but after a long series of demeaning auditions for horrible projects, Bob booked a demeaning role in a horrible project and his career was off and running. Since then he has done over seventy TV guest appearances, a dozen studio films, and numerous commercials. Being a character actor often leads to interesting character names. Bob’s favorites: Slow Roger, Mr. Giggles, Plumber Dave, Louis the Stalker, Doofus, and most recently Bob the Demon.”
Bob is proud of many things. He’s proud of his flourishing vegetable garden, he’s proud of his portrayal of the semi-retarded shop teacher on “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper”, and he is most proud to be a co-founder of Circle X Theatre Company. Although they don’t let him act much anymore, he still sits on their Board of Directors and plays 1st Base for their championship softball team.
He lives in Burbank with his wife, two sons, and a pug named “Helmut”. Weare pleased to welcome back Bob Clendenin! CMP audiences met him last season, in the performance of To Lenny, with Love.
We are pleased to welcome back violinist Aaron Boyd, now in his second year as Concertmaster of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, enjoys a versatile career as soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and teacher. Since beginning the violin at the age of 7, Mr. Boyd has concertized throughout the United States, Europe
and Asia. Having played in nearly every major hall in New York City, Mr. Boyd was also a frequent guest artist at Bargemusic, where he appeared over 50 times. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Boyd has participated in the Marlboro, La Jolla, Prussia Cove and Tanglewood festivals and has collaborated with members of the Juilliard, Guarneri, Orion and Emerson Quartets, the Beaux Arts Trio, Phillippe Entremont, Mitsuko Uchida, Anner Bylsma, Siegfried Palm, Kim Kashkashian, Toby Appel, Mark Peskanov, and Gerard Poulet. Prior to joining the Tucson Symphony, Mr. Boyd toured and recorded internationally as a member of the Sejong Soloists and Manhattan Sinfonietta, and played with the Orpheus, Metamorphosen and Promethus Chamber Orchestras. Mr. Boyd has been a prizewinner in numerous competitions including the Ecoles D’art Americaines de Fontainebleau, the Klein Violin Competition, the Tuesday Music Society and the Pittsburgh Concert Society and was awarded a Proclamation by the City of Pittsburgh for his musical accomplishments.
Deeply committed to the music of our time, Mr. Boyd has been involved in numerous commissions and premiers in concert and on record, including premier recordings of the music of Milton Babbitt, George Edwards, Morton Feldman and Ferdinand Ries. Mr. Boyd is also first violinist and founder of the Zukofsky Quartet (Quartet-in-Residence, Bargemusic) which remains the only ensemble to have played all of Milton Babbitt’s notoriously difficult string quartets. A musician of wide stylistic interests, Mr. Boyd has played and recorded in collaboration with Jazz legend Dick Hyman, Chanteuse Badomi DeCesare, and appeared in concert on the mandolin with flutist Paula Robison and the Phoenix Symphony. As a recording artist, Mr. Boyd can be heard on the Naxos, Tzadik, North/South and Innova labels. Mr. Boyd has been broadcast in concert by NPR, WQXR, and WQED, and was recently profiled by Arizona Public Television.
Born in Pittsburgh, Mr. Boyd began his studies with Samuel LaRocca and Eugene Phillips and graduated from The Juilliard School where he studied with Sally Thomas and coached extensively with Harvey Shapiro and Paul Zukofsky. Previously on the violin faculty of Columbia University, Mr. Boyd now teaches at the University of Arizona and plays on the “ex-Ricci” Samuel Zygmuntowicz violin