Tune of the Day: Spring
Le quattro stagioni (Italian for “The Four Seasons”) is a set of four violin concertos by Antonio Vivaldi. Composed in 1723, it is Vivaldi's best-known work, and is among the most popular pieces of Baroque music.
Cast in three movements, the Concerto in E major subtitled "Spring" was, like its three siblings, inspired by an Italian sonnet, whose colorful pastoral scenes and events the composer depicts in his wonderfully imaginative music.
Springtime is upon us.
The birds celebrate her return with festive song,
and murmuring streams are softly caressed by the breezes.
Thunderstorms, those heralds of Spring, roar, casting their dark mantle over heaven,
Then they die away to silence, and the birds take up their charming songs once more.
On the flower-strewn meadow, with leafy branches rustling overhead, the goat-herd sleeps, his faithful dog beside him.
Led by the festive sound of rustic bagpipes, nymphs and shepherds lightly dance beneath the brilliant canopy of spring.
Though it is not known who wrote these sonnets, there is a theory that Vivaldi wrote them himself. This makes sense because each sonnet is broken down into three sections, each section corresponding to a movement in the concerto. The Four Seasons can therefore be classified as program music: music that intends to evoke something extra-musical.