It’s that time of year when you listen to Vivaldi’s concerto “Winter.” It still amazes me (and probably many others) how a mere human being can construe the beauty of four seasons in such a masterfully aesthetic and metaphorically compact way.

Antonio Vivaldi (1678−1741) was a Baroque musician and he wrote The Four Seasons (Italian: Le quattro stagioni), a group of four violin concertos 1718−1720, which were published in 1721 in Amsterdam. The information of each concerto is as follows:

  • Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269, “Spring” (La primavera)
  • Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 8, RV 315, “Summer” (L’estate)
  • Concerto No. 3 in F major, Op. 8, RV 293, “Autumn” (L’autunno)
  • Concerto No. 4 in F minor, Op. 8, RV 297, “Winter” (L’inverno)

I tried several renderings–for example, Chloe Chua or Julia Fischer–of the first movement of “Winter,” and this one performed by Cynthia Miller Freivogel in January 2016 is absolutely my favorite. In this video, Freivogel plays a baroque violin made by Johann Paul Schorn in 1715 in Salzburg, Austria.

Vivaldi (ca. 1723) (source: Wikipedia)

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