The Four Seasons (Italian: Le quattro stagioni) is a group of four violin concerti by Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi, each one musically representing a season of the year. They were written around 1721 and were published in 1725 in Amsterdam, together with eight additional violin concerti, as Il cimento dell’armonia e dell’inventione (“The Contest Between Harmony and Invention”).
The Four Seasons was a revolution in musical conception: in them Vivaldi represented flowing creeks, singing birds (of different species, each specifically characterized), a shepherd and his barking dog, buzzing flies, storms, drunken dancers, hunting parties from both the hunters’ and the prey’s point of view, frozen landscapes, and warm winter fires.
Several of the themes are very well-known. This arrangement, on the easy side of intermediate, takes the theme from the third movement of the Autumn concerto. Vivaldi composed his music to a sonnet that he possibly created as well. The Autumn sonnet starts:
The hunters emerge at the new dawn,
And with horns and dogs and guns depart upon their hunting.
Key: F Major
Mood: determined, searching
Pedagogy: dotted eighth-sixteenth passages, staccato, fingering, dynamics