Vivaldi: Winter (the Four Seasons) – Cynthia Freivogel and Voices of Music

San Francisco based early music ensemble Voices of Music and the American violinist Cynthia Miller Freivogel who specialized in both baroque and modern violin perform Antonio Vivaldi’s “Winter” from the Four Seasons. The piece was performed on original period instruments.

Concerto No. 4 in F minor, Op. 8, RV 297, “L’inverno” (Winter)

Movements:

  1. Allegro non molto
  2. Largo is written in rich, five-part counterpoint in which the violins provide chordal, plucked arpeggios against a fast moving, bowed solo cello part, while the violin sounds an expressive melody above all the different textures.
  3. Allegro

Poems for “Winter”

Unusually for the time, Vivaldi published the “four seasons” with accompanying poems (possibly written by Vivaldi himself).

Allegro non molto
“Aggiacciato tremar trà neri algenti
Al Severo Spirar d’ orrido Vento,
Correr battendo i piedi ogni momento;
E pel Soverchio gel batter i denti;”

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.

Largo
“Passar al foco i di quieti e contenti
Mentre la pioggia fuor bagna ben cento”

To rest contentedly beside the hearth, while those outside are drenched by pouring rain.

Allegro
“Caminar Sopra ‘l giaccio, e à passo lento
Per timor di cader gersene intenti;
Gir forte Sdruzziolar, cader à terra
Di nuove ir Sopra ‘l giaccio e correr forte
Sin ch’ il giaccio si rompe, e si disserra;
Sentir uscir dalle ferrate porte
Sirocco Borea, e tutti i Venti in guerra
Quest’ é ‘l verno, mà tal, che gioja apporte.”

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 coarse through the home despite the locked and bolted doors…
this is winter, which nonetheless brings its own delights.

Voices of Music

Vivaldi - Four Seasons - Winter (Voices of Music)
Voices of Music

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Hanneke van Proosdij & David Tayler, directors
Maria Caswell, baroque viola, anonymous, Mittenwald, c1800
Cynthia Miller Freivogel, baroque violin by Johann Paul Schorn, Salzburg, Austria, 1715
Lisa Grodin, baroque violin by Paulo Antonio Testore, Larga di Milano, Italy, 1736
Katherine Heater, baroque organ by Winold van der Putten, Finsterwolde, Netherlands, 2004, after early 18th-century northern German instruments
Carla Moore, baroque violin by Johann Georg Thir, Vienna, Austria, 1754
Maxine Nemerovski, baroque violin by Timothy Johnson, Indiana, 1999 (after Stradivarius)
Farley Pearce, violone by George Stoppani, Manchester, 1985, after Amati, 1560
Hanneke van Proosdij, harpsichord
Elisabeth Reed, baroque cello, anonymous, 1673
David Tayler, archlute by Andreas von Holst, Munich, 2012
after Magno Tieffenbrucker, Venice, c1610
Tanya Tomkins, baroque cello, Lockey Hill, London, England, 1798
Gabrielle Wunsch, baroque violin by Lorenzo Carcassi, Florence, Italy, 1765

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