“The Four Seasons: Winter” by Antonio Vivaldi

For my referential analysis, I chose The Four Seasons: Violin Concerto in F minor, Op. 8, No. 4, Rv 297, L’inverno (Winter): I. Allegro Non-Molto. The selection is located in Module 1 in Section 1: Basic Musical Concepts. Overall, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons consists of four parts – one representing each of the seasons (Vivaldi – The Four Seasons, n. d.). This paper focuses on a piece called Winter.

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Vivaldi’s Winter is composed of violins. It is an extremely intense composition. It can be divided into several pieces which compile the pattern of the melody. The pattern is played by a string orchestra and a solo performer, the violinist. In the very beginning, the orchestra starts with several intense chords, and then the solo violinist proceeds. As a referential listener, I noticed that such beginning builds up tension; it makes the audience impatiently wait for the resolution and the start of the main melody.

The beginning of the melody is increasingly dramatic and sets the mood from the very beginning. The performance of the soloist is intermitted by the performance of the rest of the orchestra. The speed of the melody is also growing gradually. The second part is much faster than the third. The speed and the timbre dictate the overall emotional setting within the melody. It slows down towards the third part and picks up the speed again. The ending is the most dramatic and complex.

As a referential listener, I immediately associate the title of the composition with its mood. It does not depict a calm and peaceful winder day. On the contrary, Vivaldi wrote this melody to recreate the impression of a very strong wind, perhaps a snowstorm, something that is unstoppable. Its rapid development is meant to carry the listener away as if they were just a snowflake is the merciless storm of the music.

Automatically, the cyclic structure of the melody gets associated with a spinning blizzard. Its high tone is associated with ice-cold wind, freezing weather. If the snow painfully hitting one’s face during a blizzard could sound -Vivaldi’s Winter would be its sound.

This melody is a representation of fast movement, rush, a natural process so powerful that it cannot be controlled by a human. This melody has been used in a variety of films and in multiple TV commercials. It is always used to accompany the scenes and images that reflect its incredibly fast rhythm and dramatic mood. The melody is designed to remind a person about the forces of nature that cannot be tamed and should be respected, feared, and admired.

The melody keeps the listener at the edge of their chair; the growing and then slowing down rhythm is an impending doom to obey the cruel and powerful forces of nature. The short beats played by the string orchestra are excellent at maintaining high levels of tension, keeping the listener waiting for the next peak, for the development of the melody and wonder where it is going to carry them next, and how it is going to unravel.

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In conclusion, Vivaldi’s Winter is an admirable piece of art overfilled with drama and powerful emotions. It is one of the melodies that re-create the actual impression of being carried away by the music. Winter is a great demonstration of the effect music can have on the listeners.

Reference List

Vivaldi – The Four Seasons. Classicfm. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2020, May 7). “The Four Seasons: Winter” by Antonio Vivaldi. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/the-four-seasons-winter-by-antonio-vivaldi/

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StudyCorgi. 2020. "“The Four Seasons: Winter” by Antonio Vivaldi." May 7, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/the-four-seasons-winter-by-antonio-vivaldi/.

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StudyCorgi. (2020) '“The Four Seasons: Winter” by Antonio Vivaldi'. 7 May.

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