Composed in 1723, Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” are the first four violin concertos of a set of twelve, published in 1725 as “The Contest between Harmony and Invention”.
Each of the “Seasons” is in three short movements, each depicting a different scene. “Autumn”, the third of the “Seasons”, portrays country folk singing, dancing and (most importantly) drinking, following a successful harvest. By the end of the first movement sleep has overtaken many of the revellers, a theme continued in the second movement. The final movement illustrates a hunt “with horns, guns and dogs”. The stag makes every effort to escape but, once wounded, finally succumbs to its fate.
Programme notes for BHSO performance, May 2011
Written by Andrew Biggs
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