Vivaldi and Piazzolla: Two Visions of Summer

Antonio Vivaldi’s collection of violin concerti, The Four Seasons, composed between 1718 and 1720, remains some of the most famous, virtuosic, and evocative music ever written.

Concerto No. 2 in G minor “Summer” begins under a burning summer sun. The opening bars suggest an oppressive, sultry haze. As the music unfolds, nature comes alive with the song of the cuckoo, turtledove, and finch. The sounds of a shepherd herald the approach of a storm. The second movement (Adagio e piano) is filled with the buzzing sounds of insects and distant thunder. The final movement unleashes the full fury of a summer storm with torrents of pounding, windswept rain.

This 2016 performance features Shunske Sato and the Netherlands Bach Society:

The twentieth century Argentine composer, Ástor Piazzolla, depicted The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires in an exhilarating set of tangos written in the late 1960s. In the 1990s, the Russian composer Leonid Desyatnikov arranged Piazzolla’s music in a new suite. Quotes from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons create a fascinating dialogue and highlight the inversion of seasons between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Piazzolla’s Verano Porteño was written originally as incidental music for the the play Melenita de oro by Alberto Rodríguez Muñoz.

Recordings

  • Vivaldi: Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 8, RV 315, “Summer” (L’estate), Shunske Sato Concerto Koln Amazon
  • Piazzolla: The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, Gidon Kremer, Kremerata Baltica Amazon

Featured Image: “Landscape with Cattle and a Woman Speaking to a Seated Man” (c. 1725), Marco Ricci

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

2 thoughts on “Vivaldi and Piazzolla: Two Visions of Summer”

  1. Change of seasons reminds me of only one person- Vivaldi and his music never disappoints me.
    Kudos to the orchestra and the author for presenting such a pleasant piece.

    Reply

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