The Four Seasons is a set of four concertos, music that significantly features a solo instrumentalist, for violin and string orchestra. These concertos were composed in Italy around 1716-1717 and published in Amsterdam in 1725.
Each concerto is about 10 minutes long and follows a typical three-movement structure of fast-slow-fast (that’s music nerd-speak for: each of the four musical stories lasts about 10 minutes and has three chapters organized in a common way of peppy-contemplative-exciting).
Vivaldi included an original sonnet specific to each piece, which illustrated the musical elements representative of each season. They are, in order, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and tell of such things as bird calls, a barking dog (viola solo OF COURSE), storms, and icy cold.
The Four Seasons appear in commercials, TV and movie soundtracks, and at practically every wedding on a regular basis. There was even a rom-com from 1981 called The Four Seasons that featured much of Vivaldi’s music in the soundtrack like a character unto itself.
The Four Seasons, starting with Vivaldi himself. Even J.S. Bach lifted some of it for a concerto of his own. There are thrash metal versions, dance mixes for video games, tango king Astor Piazzolla made The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, The Swingle Singers and Celtic Woman made vocal versions, and Associate Concertmaster Claude Sim’s favorite violinist Vanessa-Mae made a version for electric violin.
Many arrangements and covers have been made of