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“We feel the chill north winds coarse through the home despite the locked and bolted doors… this is winter, which nonetheless brings its own delight” —Antonio Vivaldi, the Sonnets*

Vivaldi Season Billboard

Cutting edge
Ornately Baroque
Artistry

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 in case it cracks

—Antonio Vivaldi, the Sonnets*

Vernal Airs 1

Rosined bow
Keening tensile strings
Trembling

We hear the cuckoo’s voice; followed by
sweet songs of turtledove and finch.
Soft breezes stir the air, but, threatening,
the North Wind sweeps them suddenly aside

—Ibid*

Summer Parasols 2

Resonance
Redolent of scents
Volatile

Under a hard season, fired up by the sun
Man and flock both languish, and pine trees burn

—Ibid*

 

Autumn Vine 4

Red spruce peaks
Norway maple dells
Willow woods

The peasant celebrates with songs and dances
the pleasure of a bountiful harvest.
And fired up by Bacchus’s liquor,
many end their revelry in sleep

—Ibid*

 

Frost and Fur 3

Slender stem
Voluptuous curves
Purfling edge

Everyone is made to forget their cares and made to sing and dance
By the air which is tempered with pleasure
And (by) the season that invites so many, many
Out of sweetest slumber to blissful enjoyment

—Ibid*

 


Vivaldi with violin

This post is dedicated to the violin, sonnets, and music of the virtuoso fiddler and cutting edge composer of Baroque concertos.
Antonio Vivaldi wrote 200 violin concertos (out of 500), including those which furnished the musical inspiration for the series of picture poems in the post, reflecting the changing shapes, colors, temperatures, and textures of Vivaldi Season.

*The quotes are excerpts from a translation of Vivaldi’s sonnets, published 1725 in a first edition of the concertos.
The four complete sonnets, with notes about the “Petrarchan Sonnet” form, its relationship to the musical structure and pace, and to the visual art which inspired the poetry, may be found on the Toronto Symphony Orchestra website.



5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sonnets of music
    Music of sonnets
    Ah, Vivaldi

    Love this collection of photos, poems, and quotes that celebrate change.

    December 11, 2021
    • A joy to hear, LuAnne. Thank you. Celebrating change, or in my mind, the classical constancy thereof. is indeed the inspiration for the creative work and the quotes in this post.
      That the modern violin, which experts can easily distinguish from Amati’s 1555 prototype, has not forgotten its provenance, is the metaphor I chose for the lunes that play Vivaldi’s cutting-edge Baroque classics. For myself, at least, that constant change is existentially timeless.

      December 13, 2021
    • I inadvertently deleted your “Nashville” comment, sorry, in my eagerness to applaud your
      Classical
      Grand Ole Opry
      fiddle’s voice 😉

      December 15, 2021
  2. wow; these are truly beautiful. I particularly like the graphic with the leaves.


    David

    December 12, 2021
    • Thank you, Sir. ‘Wow’ and ‘truly beautiful’ is my impression, too, of the pictures of the leaves of the woods that Stradivari, et al., selected from the Italian Alps for their masterpieces. Nothing less than poetic inspiration, at least for myself and Vivaldi. 🙂

      December 13, 2021

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