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This piece, entitled Spring, is actually a portion of Antonio Vivaldi’s larger work, The Four Seasons.  It was composed in 1723, published in 1725, made its first appearance in Amsterdam, spread rapidly through France, and has become one of the most popular Baroque pieces (Wikipedia, The Four Seasons).

    The Four Seasons itself was a component of a larger compilation, Il cimento dell’armonia e dell’inventione (The trial of harmony and invention), opus 8, which was comprised of twelve concertos. The movements of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter reflect the happenings of nature during each of those seasons, such as instrumental sounds to imitate thunderstorms, or leaves floating to the ground. Several others of the twelve concertos (Storm at Sea, Pleasure, The Hunt) also use descriptive notes to depict the theme of the composition. (Baroquemusic.org, Vivaldi)

The rise of the merchant class created a demand for music that was pleasant to listen to, steering it away from severely complex polyphonic styles.  Though simpler in theory than the polyphonic compositions, Vivaldi’s Spring is aesthetically magnificent.  The notes truly echo the splendor of the seasons and celebrate their differences.

References:

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Four_Seasons_

2. http://www.baroquemusic.org/bqxvivaldi.html%28Vivaldi%29

Blog #2 AMT200

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Posted by on June 16, 2012 in Uncategorized