The “Four Seasons” by Vivaldi and the “Winter” concerto movement are one of the most outstanding classical Baroque Style compositions ever written. This is a concerto for a violin soloist and an orchestra of stringed instruments, augmented with basso continuo. The “Winter” and the “Four Seasons” utilize the ritornello principle, the key modulations, and the contrasting timbers to create a dynamic composition. The concerto by Freivogel & Voices of Music, featuring a solo violin, five violins, three cellos, and two harpsichords, is a virtuoso performance.
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The musicians perfectly convey the contrast between the soloist and the orchestra. The musical piece is also enriched by the opposition of the orchestra to the soloist, which is a hallmark of baroque music (Bonds, 2018). The change in tempo and timbre creates additional dynamics and key modulations in the middle of the composition – from F minor to C minor, and from F minor to Eb major and C minor, and ending in F minor key. The performance of composition requires extremely high technique and coordination of musicians.
Modern genres of music are very different from the baroque classics in terms of the use of instruments and rhythmic sections. The composition “Elements” by Lindsey Stirling is a modern example of a virtuoso performance. Interestingly, in this composition, the central instrument is the violin solo, and the rhythm section plays the role of the orchestra. The composition also uses the ritornello principle and tempo changes to create dynamics. As in “Four Seasons,” in “Elements,” the music reflects four forms of matter – water, air, fire, and earth, which creates the contrast of oppositions, characteristic of baroque music. Listening to the composition could be somewhat monotonous if it was performed without drums and bass. But the masterful use of low-pitched rhythmic percussion instruments and soft-mid-synthetic celesta-like musical sounds counterbalance the violin’s high and moderately harsh sounds.
Bonds, Mark Evance. Listen to This. 4th ed., Pearson, 2018.