Between 1718 and 1720, Antonio Vivaldi wrote four violin concertos named after the seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. They were published in 1725 in the book Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione.

These three-movement concertos use the structure of the baroque concerto grosso (grand concerto), where a group of soloists (concertino) alternates with the full orchestra (ripieno or tutti) over a basso continuo.

Vivaldi associates each of these concertos with a sonnet. In the case of Autumn, the poem describes the celebration after the grape harvest and a hunt. When analyzing the concerto, we will see how Vivaldi uses different harmonic resources to represent the text musically.

I. Allegro

Celebrates the peasant, with songs and dances,

The pleasure of a bountiful harvest.

And fired up by Bacchus' liquor,

many end their revelry in sleep.

II. Adagio molto

Everyone is made to forget their cares and to sing and dance

By the air which is tempered with pleasure

And (by) the season that invites so many, many

Out of their sweetest slumber to fine enjoyment

III. Allegro

The hunters emerge at the new dawn,

And with horns and dogs and guns depart upon their hunting

The beast flees and they follow its trail;

Terrified and tired of the great noise

Of guns and dogs, the beast, wounded, threatens

Languidly to flee, but harried, dies.

Translation courtesy of Wikipedia.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. José Rodríguez Alvira.
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