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Antonio Vivaldi 11/12 - Winter, Largo
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The Four Seasons (Le quattro stagioni in original Italian) 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 work has been recorded on numerous occasions.
The concertos were first published in 1725 as part of a set of twelve, Vivaldi's Op. 8, entitled Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione (The Contest of 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. In modern times, others have made transcriptions and arrangements to be performed on different instrumentation.
Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269, "La primavera" (Spring)
Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 8, RV 315, "L'estate" (Summer)
Allegro non molto
Adagio e piano - Presto e forte
Concerto No. 3 in F major, Op. 8, RV 293, "L'autunno" (Autumn)
Concerto No. 4 in F minor, Op. 8, RV 297, "L'inverno" (Winter)
Allegro non molto
The texture of each concerto is varied, resembling its respective season. For example, "Winter" is peppered with silvery staccato notes from the high strings, calling to mind icy rain, whereas "Summer" evokes a thunderstorm in its final movement.
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