John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

  • Music:

Advent 2008: Concerto No. 4 in F minor, Op. 8, RV 297, "Winter"

If all goes according to plan, this will have posted at 12:04 AM UTC, the precise moment (according to the U.S. Naval Observatory) of the winter solstice. The solstice occurs at the instant when the sun's position in the sky is at its greatest angular distance on the other side of the equatorial plane from the observers' hemisphere. Today, therefore, is the first day of winter, so here's some music appropriate to the season: Antonio Vivaldi's Concerto No. 4 in F minor, Op. 8, RV 297, "Winter." Like each of the other tone poems known collectively as The Four Seasons, "Winter" was accompanied by a sonnet, possibly written by Vivaldi himself, that described what he was trying to evoke in each movement. I've posted the relevant sections of the sonnet after each movement of the concerto.

Vivaldi - Concerto No. 4 in F minor, "Winter," Allegro non molto (MP3, 3.1MB)
     To tremble from cold in the icy snow,
     In the harsh breath of a horrid wind;
     To run, stamping one's feet every moment,
     Our teeth chattering in the extreme cold

Vivaldi - Concerto No. 4 in F minor, "Winter," Largo (MP3, 1.8MB)
     Before the fire to pass peaceful,
     Contented days while the rain outside pours down.

Vivaldi - Concerto No. 4 in F minor, "Winter," Allegro (MP3, 2.9MB)
     We tread the icy path slowly and cautiously,
     for fear of tripping and falling.
     Then turn abruptly, slip, crash on the ground and, rising,
     hasten on across the ice lest it cracks up.
     We feel the chill north winds course through the home
     despite the locked and bolted doors...
     this is winter, which nonetheless
     brings its own delights.

Previous Advent posts:

2003: McCabe, "Christmas Night of '62"
2004: Low, Christmas Morn
2005: Bad Santa
2006: Dickens, From A Christmas Carol, first stave
2007: Arctic Madonna
Tags: advent: 2008, music

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