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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Darker side of Vivaldi

I suppose the overplayed and over-sweetened renditions of the Four Seasons are to blame for the general view of Vivaldi as being cheerful etc.

Let me change your views a little bit:


I suppose this late piece is neither cheerful nor does it sound like the Four Seasons, does it? :)

I also notice his late works are becoming darker and more dynamic. Also, I think the key to discovering Vivaldi as much underrated are good performances. Most of them will give you this cheerful, oversweetened feel. However, consider Giuseppe Carmignola:


Apart from Carmignola giving you the proper violin, I hugely admire Trevor Pinnock for his harpsichord as well as conducting (yes, he does this rare combination). Perhaps you would like to take a listen on his rendition of "La Notte" - again one of the darker pieces:


Since I made the discoveries mentioned above, I noticed that Vivaldi is unique in a way. He turned out to be a very keen observer of sound - not only music, but also the everyday sounds - flies flying by bottlenecks etc. as well as birds, frogs and other things. I have the impression that his music is the power of nature rising at his command - which has nothing to do with the oversweetened look forced on his reception by the mass culture...
 

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Hi Christi,

This is a little bit about Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

This is an excerpt of Spring, if you want to hear any classical music you can always go to you tube.


If you have any more questions please ask, there are many people here who can help.

Margaret
 

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Hi Christi.
That's quite good news about your Christmas program. I trust you will take the trouble to go and hear these pieces of wonderful music.
I case you don't know 'The Four Seasons' in this instance is a set of four concertos for solo violin and string orchestra. That means that a soloist will stand infront of a small orchestra consisting of Violins, violas (like violiins but a bit bigger) celli (the plural of cello) and double basses, and play a difficult piece of music. The orchestra will play sometimes simple accompaniment and other times will play some thing that souds like the music that the soloist plays.
Each concerto is made up of three seperate 'movements' and last about 12-15 minutes
so it will take about an hour to play the whole 'cycle'. They were written over 300 years ago by a very famous Italian composer Called Antonio Vivaldi. He was a preist who taught music at an all girls school in Venice. He had masses of flowing red hair which earned him the nick-name 'The Red Preist". He wrote hundreds of concertos for various instruments, usually for girls under his supervision at the school. He found a very useful formula for his concertos consisting of 3 movements (fast-slow-fast) and was sometimes accused of not writing 400 different concertos but of writing 1 concerto 400 times.
Whatever you make of them, they are a delight to listen to and stil as lively as they were 300 years ago!
Happy listening Christi
FC
 

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[QUOTE Each concerto is made up of three seperate 'movements' and last about 12-15 minutes so it will take about an hour to play the whole 'cycle'. They were written over 300 years ago by a very famous Italian composer Called Antonio Vivaldi. He was a preist who taught music at an all girls school in Venice. He had masses of flowing red hair which earned him the nick-name 'The Red Preist". He wrote hundreds of concertos for various instruments, usually for girls under his supervision at the school. He found a very useful formula for his concertos consisting of 3 movements (fast-slow-fast) and was sometimes accused of not writing 400 different concertos but of writing 1 concerto 400 times.[/QUOTE] What's a movement ?
 

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In classical music works are often made up of several short pieces that are meant to be played one after the other with only a short pause in between. The audience generally doesn't clap in these pauses but waits till the end of the whole piece, reserving his appreciation for the end. These short sections are called Movements and are usually like complete pieces which can be played separately if the performer wants. A concerto usually has three movements and a dymphony generally has four. These are not rules and you can sometimes find exceptions like Mahler (German composer of the late romantic era he lived from 1860 till 1911) who wrote nine complete symphonies some of which have more than four movements and last for over an hour!
Did you get a chance to listen to The Four Seasons, or at least some of them?
What was your impression?
Was the soloist up to the task?
Were they playing on modern instruments?
Who was conducting?
Who was the soloist?
Did you find anything else out about Vivaldi?
Did you find pictures of Venice, Italy on the internet?
Christi, try answering these in a paragraph with out using copy and paste or 'quote' and we'll continue from here.
Cheers
FC
 

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Did you get a chance to listen to The Four Seasons, or at least some of them? Yes What was your impression? Some were good Was the soloist up to the task? Were they playing on modern instruments? Who was conducting? Who was the soloist? Did you find anything else out about Vivaldi? No Did you find pictures of Venice, Italy on the internet?
 

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No Fergus, there are no goats on this forum.

Christi, to go or not is your decision, but you might miss something enjoyable, and if you want to learn about classical music the best way is to listen to it. And a live concert is the best way, at least afterwards you will know if you like it or not.


Margaret
 

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No Fergus, there are no goats on this forum.Christi, to go or not is your decision, but you might miss something enjoyable, and if you want to learn about classical music the best way is to listen to it.* And a live concert is the best way, at least afterwards you will know if you like it or not.Margaret
I don't guess watching a taped rehearsl or " program " counts ???
 

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Hi Christi,

I don't think you would get the same feeling, but watching taped is better than not watching it at all. It is just seeing a concert live gives you something just listening or watching taped doesn't, it gives you atmosphere, and a feel of what the music is really about. But you must decide what you want to do.


Margaret
 

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I've just listened to two of Vivaldi's Guitar Concertos & they are great! I enjoy them much better than The Four Seasons, because they are not so hackneyed. The slow movements are serene & calm. I think that there is plenty of emotion in this type of music, you just have to listen a bit more perceptively & not simply treat it as background music, like the ads do. It's a pity he's been done to death in this way, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying some of his music, especially the works other than The Four Seasons...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi Andre,

I guess it is not the whole Four Seasons that has been overplayed but the first movement of the Primavera and it was often played badly. Namely, the joy and energy contained in the piece was far too often transformed into "jolliness" with a high "artificial sweetener" content :) In a good performance such as the one with Carmignola, you will find the true energy coming from nature and the almost "violent" aspect characteristic of Vivaldi's music played the right way ;-)
 

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:) In a good performance such as the one with Carmignola, you will find the true energy coming from nature and the almost "violent" aspect characteristic of Vivaldi's music played the right way ;-)
The sony re-release of Carmignola's 4 Seasons is my 1st ever CD of a Period-Instrument Band...:)

There's a very pastoral arrangement of the Seasons by Nicolas Chédeville:) ~
 

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I thought it was kind of shameful that we didn't have a thread devoted to one of the must enduring Baroque composers. We get close with threads about individual pieces, but one only has a single reply, and the second is pretty ridiculous (I encourage bored members to seek it out).

So what are your thoughts on the guy? I'm familiar with the Four Seasons, which I've played, as well as the a minor Violin Concerto and the Concerto for Oboe and Violin, and am underway to explore a couple more of the over 500 concertos. Overall I'd say well written music that can give me a headache if I'm not in the right mood (to much consonance for me!).
 

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I love Vivaldi. I too am shocked he didn't have a thread in this section prior to this...I actually was about to delve much deeper into Vivaldi, until getting sidetracked. So far I've mainly explored his Four Seasons, Guitar and Mandolin Concertos, and various choral works, all of which I very much enjoy. He is a top 5 baroque composer for me.
 
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