Accompanied by the Orchestre International de Genève, the Moldovan violinist Alexandra Conunova performs Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (Italian: Le quattro stagioni), a group of four violin concerti. This performance was recorded on August 2, 2015, at the Saint-Ursanne “Piano Festival”. Sound and Video: Eliyah Reichen for Beyond Groove Productions.

Accompanied by the Orchestre International de Genève, the Moldovan violinist Alexandra Conunova performs Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (Italian: Le quattro stagioni), a group of four violin concerti. This performance was recorded on August 2, 2015, at the Saint-Ursanne “Piano Festival”. Sound and Video: Eliyah Reichen for Beyond Groove Productions.

Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (Le quattro stagioni)

Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” stands as a monumental work in the Baroque music repertoire, showcasing the innovative capabilities of the violin while painting vivid musical scenes that depict the various seasons of the year. Composed in the early 18th century, around 1720, Vivaldi’s work is not merely a set of violin concertos but a series of tone poems, each concerto dedicated to a season and accompanied by sonnets that are believed to have been written by Vivaldi himself. These sonnets provide a narrative to the music, describing scenes of pastoral beauty, dramatic weather events, and the festivities of the time, allowing listeners to visualize the imagery through the music.

Vivaldi was not only a virtuoso violinist but also a priest and a music teacher at the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice, which was an institution for orphaned or illegitimate girls. This environment provided him with a unique audience and group of musicians to perform his compositions. “The Four Seasons” is part of a larger set of twelve concertos known as “Il cimento dell’armonia e dell’inventione” (The Contest Between Harmony and Invention), showcasing Vivaldi’s inventive use of the Baroque concerto form.

The significance of “The Four Seasons” lies not just in its popularity but in its innovative approach to programmatic music (music that tells a story or describes a scene). Vivaldi masterfully uses the solo violin and orchestral parts to evoke elements of nature, from birds chirping, and thunderstorms raging, to the icy landscapes of winter. Each concerto is structured in a fast-slow-fast movement format, typical of the Baroque concerto, but within this framework, Vivaldi explores a wide range of emotions and soundscapes.

The work’s immediate appeal and enduring popularity can be attributed to its rich melodies, vivid imagery, and the technical challenges it presents to the violinist. It demands a high degree of virtuosity and interpretive skills to convey the nuanced expressions embedded in the music. Over the centuries, “The Four Seasons” has inspired countless interpretations by classical musicians, and its themes have been adapted into various genres, signifying its universal appeal and the timeless nature of its composition.

Vivaldi’s ability to evoke the essence of each season with such clarity and emotion marks “The Four Seasons” as a pioneering work of program music. It not only showcases the potential of the violin as a solo instrument but also demonstrates Vivaldi’s genius in blending musical innovation with vivid storytelling. This masterpiece continues to captivate audiences worldwide, serving as a testament to Vivaldi’s enduring legacy in the world of classical music.


With start times in the video:

  1. Spring
    1. Allegro 0:08
    2. Largo 3:30
    3. Allegro 6:00
  2. Summer
    1. Allegro non molto 10:20
    2. Adagio e piano – Presto e forte 15:45
    3. Presto 17:55
  3. Autumn
    1. Allegro 20:55
    2. Adagio Molto 26:10
    3. Allegro Pastorale 29:00
  4. Winter
    1. Allegro non molto 32:25
    2. Largo 35:40
    3. Allegro 37:40


The 1st concerto, “Spring,” from Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” is a jubilant celebration of the season of renewal and rebirth. Through lively strings and bright harmonies, it paints a vivid picture of nature awakening, with birdsong, flowing creeks, and gentle breezes, encapsulating the essence of spring in a musical form that delights and uplifts the listener.

The movements are:

  1. Allegro: This movement is an ode to spring’s arrival, bursting with energy and the joyful melodies of birdsong. Vivaldi uses the violin to mimic the sounds of chirping birds, alongside flowing melodies that suggest the gentle warmth and growth of new life. The music is vibrant, capturing the optimism and beauty of the season.
  2. Largo e pianissimo sempre: Here, Vivaldi evokes a serene and peaceful scene, possibly a lush meadow or a quiet forest where one can hear the soft murmur of streams. The slow, delicate passages for solo violin and sparse accompaniment create a tranquil atmosphere, offering a moment of calm and reflection amidst the vitality of spring.
  3. Allegro: The final movement returns to the exuberant spirit of spring, with music that suggests festive dances and celebrations. The rhythm is lively and inviting, evoking images of people coming together to celebrate the season’s abundance. It’s a fitting conclusion to the concerto, full of vitality and joy, mirroring the cycle of renewal that spring brings to the world.

Poems of Spring

Unusually for the time, Antonio Vivaldi published the Four Seasons with accompanying poems (possibly written by the composer himself).

1st movement: Allegro

Giunt’ è la Primavera e festosetti
La Salutan gl’ Augei con lieto canto,
E i fonti allo Spirar de’ Zeffiretti
Con dolce mormorio Scorrono intanto:
Vengon’ coprendo l’ aer di nero amanto
E Lampi, e tuoni ad annuntiarla eletti
Indi tacendo questi, gl’ Augelletti;
Tornan’ di nuovo al lor canoro incanto.

Springtime is upon us.
The birds celebrate her return with festive songs,
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.

2nd movement: Largo e pianissimo sempre

E quindi sul fiorito ameno prato
Al caro mormorio di fronde e piante
Dorme ‘l Caprar col fido can’ à lato.

On the flower-strewn meadow, with leafy branches rustling overhead, the goat-herd sleeps, his faithful dog beside him.

3rd movement: Allegro

Di pastoral Zampogna al suon festante
Danzan Ninfe e Pastor nel tetto amato
Di primavera all’ apparir brillante.

Led by the festive sound of rustic bagpipes, nymphs, and shepherds lightly dance beneath the brilliant canopy of spring.


The 2nd concerto, “Summer,” from Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” immerses the listener in the heat and drama of the summer season. It explores the contrasts between the season’s oppressive heat and the sudden, tempestuous storms that provide relief. Vivaldi’s music vividly depicts the languor induced by summer’s heat, as well as nature’s sudden, violent responses.

  1. Allegro non molto: This movement captures the oppressive heat of summer, with the solo violin illustrating the languid, drooping movements of those suffering under the scorching sun. The music is heavy and slow, conveying a sense of discomfort and the longing for a cooling breeze. The tension builds, evoking the stifling atmosphere before a storm.
  2. Adagio e piano – Presto e forte: The contrast of the gentle breezes with the sudden onset of a summer storm is depicted here. Initially, the music is soft and slow, representing the brief, soothing moments of calm. Suddenly, it shifts to a fast and loud Presto, illustrating the abrupt arrival of a thunderstorm, with rapid violin passages mimicking the lightning and thunder, showcasing Vivaldi’s talent for musical storytelling.
  3. Presto: In the finale, Vivaldi conveys the storm’s full fury. The music is fast and tumultuous, with the orchestra and solo violin engaging in rapid, intense passages that mimic the chaos of a summer tempest. The movement is energetic and dramatic, capturing the exhilarating release that comes with the storm’s climax and eventual clearing, leaving a sense of renewal and vitality in its wake.

Poems of Summer

1st movement: Allegro non molto

Sotto dura Staggion dal Sole accesa
Langue l’ huom, langue ‘l gregge, ed arde il Pino;
Scioglie il Cucco la Voce, e tosto intesa
Canta la Tortorella e ‘l gardelino.
Zeffiro dolce Spira, mà contesa
Muove Borea improviso al Suo vicino;
E piange il Pastorel, perche sospesa
Teme fiera borasca, e ‘l suo destino;

Beneath the blazing sun’s relentless heat
men and flocks are sweltering,
pines are scorched.
We hear the cuckoo’s voice; then sweet songs of the turtle dove and finch are heard.
Soft breezes stir the air….but a threatening north wind sweeps them suddenly aside. The shepherd trembles, fearful of violent storms and what may lie ahead.

2nd movement: Adagio e piano – Presto e forte

Toglie alle membra lasse il Suo riposo
Il timore de’ Lampi, e tuoni fieri
E de mosche, e mossoni il Stuol furioso!

His limbs are now awakened from their repose by fear of lightning’s flash and thunder’s roar, as gnats and flies buzz furiously around.

3rd movement: Presto

Ah che pur troppo i Suo timor Son veri
Tuona e fulmina il Ciel e grandioso
Tronca il capo alle Spiche e a’ grani alteri.

Alas, his worst fears were justified, as the heavens roar and great hailstones beat down upon the proudly standing corn.


The 3rd concerto, “Autumn,” from Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” musically embodies the harvest and festivities of autumn, as well as the changes in the weather as the season progresses towards winter. It’s a rich portrayal of the season’s bounty, joy, and the eventual peaceful slumber that comes with its cooler temperatures. Vivaldi masterfully captures the essence of autumn through evocative melodies and dynamic contrasts.

  1. Allegro: This movement celebrates the harvest with a festive, energetic theme. The music is lively and joyful, reflecting the happiness of the people as they gather the fruits of their labors. The dance-like rhythms and robust melodies convey the sense of community and abundance that marks the harvest season, inviting listeners to imagine a rustic scene of celebration and gratitude.
  2. Adagio molto: As the celebrations wind down, the second movement brings a sense of tranquility and reflection. The music slows and softens, evoking the mellow atmosphere of an autumn evening. The solo violin plays long, lingering notes that mimic the gentle chill in the air, suggesting a time for rest and peaceful contemplation amid the season’s fading beauty.
  3. Allegro: The final movement captures the cooler, more dynamic aspects of autumn. It brings to life the hunting parties of the season, with music that is brisk and spirited. The rapid passages for the solo violin and the orchestra suggest the movement of animals and hunters through the forest. The music is full of action and excitement, portraying the chase and the joys of the hunt, before concluding the concerto on a note of triumphant celebration, echoing the cycle of life and change inherent to autumn.

Poems of Autumn

1st movement: Allegro

Celebra il Vilanel con balli e Canti
Del felice raccolto il bel piacere
E del liquor de Bacco accesi tanti
Finiscono col Sonno il lor godere

The peasant celebrates with song and dance the harvest safely gathered in.
The cup of Bacchus flows freely, and many find their relief in deep slumber.

2nd movement: Adagio molto

Fà ch’ ogn’ uno tralasci e balli e canti
L’ aria che temperata dà piacere,
E la Staggion ch’ invita tanti e tanti
D’ un dolcissimo Sonno al bel godere.

The singing and the dancing die away
as cooling breezes fan the pleasant air,
inviting all to sleep
without a care.

3rd movement: Allegro

I cacciator alla nov’ alba à caccia
Con corni, Schioppi, e canni escono fuore
Fugge la belua, e Seguono la traccia;
Già Sbigottita, e lassa al gran rumore
De’ Schioppi e canni, ferita minaccia
Languida di fuggir, mà oppressa muore.

The hunters emerge at dawn,
ready for the chase,
with horns and dogs and cries.
Their quarry flees while they give chase.
Terrified and wounded, the prey struggles on,
but, harried, dies.


The 4th concerto, “Winter,” from Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” evokes the biting cold, frosty landscapes, and the warmth of the hearth during the chilliest season of the year. Vivaldi’s composition skillfully conveys the contrasts of winter’s ferocity and the quiet beauty of a snow-covered world, using the violin to paint vivid scenes of icy splendor and the struggle against the cold.

  1. Allegro non molto: This movement captures the harshness of winter with biting cold winds depicted through sharp, staccato notes from the violin. The music conveys shivering and chattering teeth, with the orchestral accompaniment creating a chilling backdrop that evokes a frosty landscape. The relentless cold and the struggle to stay warm are palpable in the tension and energy of the piece.
  2. Largo: In stark contrast to the first, the second movement is a serene and peaceful depiction of a quiet, snow-covered world. The solo violin plays a simple, elegant melody over a steady, plodding bass, suggesting the calm and silent beauty of a winter’s night. The warmth of the music serves as a comforting refuge from the cold, inviting listeners to imagine a moment of repose by a warm fire.
  3. Allegro: The final movement returns to the energy and dynamism of winter, depicting icy winds and stormy weather that sweep through the landscape. The music is brisk and lively, with rapid passages on the violin mimicking the swirling snow and gusting breezes. It’s a thrilling conclusion to the concerto, capturing the invigorating and awe-inspiring aspects of winter before the cycle of the seasons begins anew with the return of spring.

Together, these movements form a vivid musical journey through the heart of winter, showcasing Vivaldi’s genius in evoking the season’s essence through the expressive power of the violin and orchestra.

Poems of Winter

1st movement: 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.

2nd movement: 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.

3rd movement: 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…


M. Özgür Nevres

Published by M. Özgür Nevres

I am Özgür Nevres, a software engineer, a former road racing cyclist, and also an amateur musician. I opened to share my favorite music. I also take care of stray cats & dogs. This website's all income goes directly to our furry friends. Please consider supporting me on Patreon, so I can help more animals!

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