Vivaldi's Four Seasons - Summer

by Ramiro Delforte

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  • Hi GMC'ers! This time we are going to get through the last movement of the third concert of the Vivaldi's Op.8, the concert of "Summer" of the well-known "Four Seasons". This concert among with the other three of the "Four Seasons" and four more concerts that make the Op.8 were composed in the beginning of the 1720s.
    These four concerts (1-4 of the Op.8) are programmatic, that means they are inspired by sonnets, and they are very important to follow the connection between each movement and the gestures that the music creates regarding the words.
    I'll copy the text of the entire "Summer" concert:

    First Movement

    Under the harsh season ignited by the sun
    Man and flock languish, and the pine burns;
    The cuckoo offers his voice, and, soon heard,
    The young turtledove and goldfish sings.

    Zephyr (The West Wind) blows gently, but suddenly
    Boreas (The North Wind) offers opposition to his neighbor;
    And the shepherd weeps, because he fears
    A severe storm in the offing-and his destiny.

    Second Movement

    The repose of his tired limbs is disturbed
    By the fear of the lightning and fiery thunder,
    And by a furious swarm of flies and wasps.

    Third Movement

    Unfortunately, his fears are justified.
    The sky thunders and fulminates, and hail
    Flattens ears of com and majestic grains.

    So, this text it's important to get the feeling of the piece, to understand the semantics of the musical text.

    I've made this lesson about the first violin, the "concertante" of this piece. I know that Alexi Laiho and many guitar players have some adaptations of the second violin that's easiest, that's the reason why I chose to create a lesson about the first violin, and because I think it's really funny to play the lines that you always hear on top, like the melody.

    You might notice that I didn't include a harpsichord on the basso continuo. The reason why I omitted it was because it's not an easy task to create such a thing and I thought that was better not to create anything that is not proper.
    The movement is on Gm and I didn't transpose it for this adaptation because it's very confortable to play it on this key on the guitar as well.
    Also I want to anticipate that the analysis of the parts are not about form or harmony, but just the interpretation of the arrangement that I did and why I did what I did. If you want the other kind of analysis I could make one if there are many who are interested.

    I hope you enjoy the lesson!

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