Antonio Vivaldi "Four Seasons" Essay

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Antonio Vivaldi is the most prominent representative of the Venetian Baroque music. Instrumental music was not really welcomed in the era of Vivaldi. For many people it was an abstraction, considering words very important for any music work. For the “red priest” this was a challenge. Vivaldi wanted to respond to public demands, but also he wanted to bring something new, something that will have a great effect on music listeners. Writing the spectacular group of four concertos “Four Seasons” in 1723, Vivaldi helped listeners to understand music at a new level, to smooth the transformation of auditory perception in a complex image, adding each picture a literary image. The violin concerto “Winter” is composed in ritornello form, combining the small string orchestra and one violin soloist in three movements. The first movement has a lot of tension representing, probably, a winter snowstorm. It begins with the orchestra playing a dissonant chord to each beat thus creating a crescendo. The orchestra plays eight beats. The beat is kept by the ground bass that carries the harmony and texture of the orchestra. The pointed rhythm is ruled by the cello that plays the same note on every beat corresponding to the ground bass. The second movement is slower, taking into consideration that the soloist plays a legato melody that is accompanied by other stringed instruments. It keeps this melody throughout the entire movement. This movement ends with one major chord, thus differing from the first one which is in minor chord. The final movement returns to the soloist who is accompanied by the ensemble. It has a faster tempo than the second movement and a little faster tempo than the first one. The soloist plays a higher sequence, while the orchestra plays a downward sequence. The concerto ends on a low and forte minor chord. The word-music relationship is described by pizzicato

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