Antonio Vivaldi (born in Veniсе on March 4, 1678 — buried in Vienna on July 28, 1741) is known to have been composer, violinist, conductor and teacher at once.
Vivaldi's concert career started already from his youth, when he used to play as violinist-virtuoso via Italy and аll the European countries. His creation scale embraces almost аll the possible genres of that time, among which there are 465 concertos for different casts (including more, than two hundred solo concertos for violin and 49 concerti grossi), 40 operas, 3 oratorios, cantatas, ecclesiastic music, tens of sonatas for various instruments, 12 trio-sonatas etc.
Antonio Vivaldi was а man of phenomenal creative energy and vigour, which mingled во miraculously with his cloth of clergyman. Remember the sobriquet “ginger abbot” given to him by the Venetians.
Besides, the “ginger abbot” occupied the post of choir-master and conductor of the conservatoire “OspcdaIe della Picta”.
Unfortunately Vivaldi's creative heritage was tightly forgotten for а long time after his death. However, it experienced the new revival at the twenties of the 20ieth century thanks tо the Italian musicologist А. Gentili's discovery, who found the unknown manuscripts. Meanwhile, the full collection of Vivaldi's work was started being published under the guidance of Gian Francesco Malipiero, the leading researcher of the Antonio Vivaldi Italian Institute.
“The Seasons” (Le stagioni) consists of four concertos for violin (Violino principale), string quintet and organ (or cembalo). These four concertos entered the work “Experience of Harmony and Fantasy” (Il cimento e dell’invenzione) opus 8, including 12 concertos, published in Amsterdam and reprinted in Paris later on.
Each concerto is foreworded with the poetical programme, the sonnet (translated to Russian by L. Z. Ardov, to English by А. Ardova).
There are four sonnets by the anonimous authors, or probably by the composer himself. The poetical lines of the sonnets exactly correspond to the indications near the musical episodes. Though several episodes arc really onomatopoeic, the whole concerto is constructed according to its own musical logic and tradition. The poetical programme herc anticipates the tendencies of the Romanticism, especially its latest period. However, the romantic programmatic music required the form reconstruction influenced by the literary plot, while Vivaldi implied the programme to inspire performer's imagination.