Welcome back to our Monthly “Recommended Listening”!
Every month, we are here to help you inspire your child with some season-appropriate musical pieces. Listening to music is not only enjoyable but is also beneficial in the development of many skills including coordination and self-confidence that will continue to be useful for your child throughout their lives.
Vivaldi: Four Seasons – Spring
Regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Baroque era, Vivaldi’scompositions are timeless pieces of art. His best-known work is a series of Violin Concertos entitled ‘Four Seasons’ which were originally written 297 years ago in 1721 and are still widely performed by virtuoso violinists today! Along with the music for the Four Seasons, Vivaldi wrote sonnets to accompany each movement that described the intention of each movement and what the music evoked.
The first movement, titled ‘Spring’ is split into 3 movements which follow this sonnet:
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.
In the second movement where the goat-herd sleeps you can hear Vivaldi’s faithful dog barking in the Viola section, which is marked in their scores!
Piazzolla: The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires – Spring
‘The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires’ is a series of four tango compositions by Astor Piazzolla depicting each of the seasons in Argentine’s capital city. Written between 1965 – 1970 Piazzolla’s composition bares similarities to Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’. The performance order of Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ is pretty straight forward, following our natural order of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. However, since the seasons are inverted between southern and northern hemispheres, the order of the Pizzolla’s pieces are slightly altered: Invierno Porteno (Winter), Verano Porteno (Summer), Otono Porteno (Autumn) and Primavera Portena (Spring).
‘Spring’ or ‘Primavera Portena’, was one of the last of the four works to be composed of the set. This movement depicts the changing of seasons from Autumn to Spring at the Port of Buenos Aires, which set to the style of a tango – a ballroom dance which originated in Buenos Aires characterised by its rhythms and abrupt pauses. The work was premiered in 1965 originally scored for Piazzolla’s Quintet made up of piano, bandoneon, violin, electric guitar and bass. However, as the work grew more popular it has been arranged for various instruments and the particular favourite amongst them all, the guitar.