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 concerts with a sonnet. In the case of Spring, the sonnet describes the arrival of the season with the singing of the birds and the festivities that celebrate its arrival. In analyzing the concerto, we will see how Vivaldi uses different musical resources to represent the text.

I. Allegro

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.

II. Largo

On the flower-strewn meadow, with leafy branches
rustling overhead, the goat-herd sleeps,
his faithful dog beside him.

III. Danza Pastorale

Led by the festive sound of rustic bagpipes,
nymphs and shepherds lightly dance
beneath spring’s beautiful canopy.

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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