Saturday, March 12, 2005

Vivaldi - The Four Seasons - Largo from 'Winter'

Throughout this movement, there is an accompaniment of plucked strings. This is a huge contrast to the flowing soloist part. It seems like the two are not in agreement with each other - the solo part wants to ad lib a bit but can't because the accompaniment is trying to keep the piece as close to its own tempo and meter. At times the piece sounds like it has its own verses and chorus - there is a distinct melody part and then there are sections of upward-moving scales that seem to act like a chorus. The first thing that came to mind while listening to this piece was a horse-drawn carriage traveling through a gentle snowstorm. I heard the plucked strings as the horses' hooves, but after a quick search I found that Vivaldi intended the story of the movement to be this:

To pass by the fire quiet, contented days While hundreds outside are
drenched By rain.

I guess it depends on the performance of the piece because I definitely didn't hear any torrential downpour.

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