Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
Commentary by Jean-Christophe Spinosi
Jean-Christophe Spinosi was revealed to the public with his interpretations of Vivaldi whose work he revitalized, giving it unexpected precision and truly Venetian colors while also imparting a communicative and incisive energy that wins over audiences.
Spinosi seems so close to Vivaldi and his orchestra is so well tuned to the Red Priest’s music that one could almost think that he has conducted all Vivaldi’s work. However it is above all in Vivaldi’s string concertos that his stylistic affirmation can be found: this evening’s program will deploy all the aspects of a composer who was served by the most voluble Italian interpreters on all instruments at the beginning of the Settecento.
Still, the most illustrious Italian concertos are the Four Seasons which have brought long-lasting renown to Vivaldi over centuries. The four extremely descriptive concerti, led by a virtuoso bow, were published in Amsterdam in 1725, already then the beginning of their international fame. The very descriptive poem which goes with them is an exceptional example of “Program Music”. This might be one of the keys to their continuous fascination for the public, reinforced by the wonderfully mature and continuously inventive musical composition: the thunderstorm, the hunt, the cold, everything is splendidly transcribed into a musical language that is immediately accessible. Jean-Christophe Spinosi, playing the first violin of this devilish score, calls forth an amber Venetian sky, with a thunderstorm stalling the sun behind threatening clouds.
The Four Seasons