Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Four Seasons..

Vivaldi wrote four musical pieces, collectively known as 'The Four Seasons'. He also wrote accompanying sonnets to be read out as the music played. We are not able to provide sound here, so we will show one scene, and the four seasons which pass over it. For those of you who are not lucky enough to live in a temperate region, this is how the seasons look. The words (translated from the original Italian) at the side of each picture will help you to imagine what it is like to stand in each scene. We will start with Spring, passing through Summer, Autumn (Fall), and finally Winter.

"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."

"Under a hard Season, fired up by the Sun Languishes man, languishes the flock and burns the pine We hear the cuckoo's voice; then sweet songs of the turtledove and finch are heard. Soft breezes stir the air... but threatening north wind sweeps them suddenly aside. The shepherd trembles, fearing violent storms and his fate. The fear of lightning and fierce thunder Robs his tired limbs of rest As gnats and flies buzz furiously around. Alas, his fears were justified The Heavens thunders and roar and majestically Cuts the head off the wheat and damages the grain."

"Celebrates the peasant, with songs and dances, The pleasure of a bountiful harvest. And fired up by Bacchus' liquor, many end their revelry in sleep. Everyone is made to forget their cares and to sing and dance By the air which is tempered with pleasure And (by) the season that invites so many, many Out of their sweetest slumber to fine enjoyment The hunters emerge at the new dawn, And with horns and dogs and guns depart upon their hunting The beast flees and they follow its trail; Terrified and tired of the great noise Of guns and dogs, the beast, wounded, threatens Languidly to flee, but harried, dies."

"Shivering, frozen mid the frosty snow in biting, stinging winds; running to and fro to stamp one's icy feet, teeth chattering in the bitter chill. To rest contentedly beside the hearth, while those outside are drenched by pouring rain. We tread the icy path slowly and cautiously, for fear of tripping and falling. Then turn abruptly, slip, crash on the ground and, rising, hasten on across the ice lest it cracks up. We feel the chill north winds course through the home despite the locked and bolted doors...this is winter, which nonetheless brings its own delights."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea taking a photo of the same scenery during different seasons, fits Vivaldi perfectly