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Vivaldi's Four Seasons

December 22, 2020 7:30 PM

Nicholas Wright, violin

Vivaldi: Four Seasons

An annual VSO tradition goes virtual. Concertmaster Nicholas Wright leads the VSO in Vivaldi’s timeless The Four Seasons. Free for the whole community, no subscription needed.

Community Engagement Partner:

NEWMONT

Community Engagement Supporter:

CONNOR, CLARK and LUNN FOUNDATION

Nicholas Wright, concertmaster

Concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Nicholas Wright is a native of England. His engagements as soloist, chamber and orchestral musician have taken him to most of the major concert halls in Europe, Asia and North America. He has performed concertos with orchestras worldwide including the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Royal Oman Symphony and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. His repertoire spans works from Handel to premieres by composers such as Kelly-Marie Murphy and Jocelyn Morlock, whose works he recently recorded for the Naxos label. He made his solo debut with the York Guildhall Orchestra playing the Dvořák Romance, which was recorded for BBC Radio 3. His concerts and recordings have also been featured on CBC Radio (Canada) and Radio 4 (Hong Kong). As an orchestral musician, Nicholas has worked with the world’s most renowned conductors including Bernard Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle, Valery Gergiev and Mstislav Rostropovich. He has performed extensively with the major chamber and symphony orchestras in London including the English Chamber and London Philharmonic Orchestras, and has appeared as guest concertmaster with orchestras such as the Bournemouth Symphony, BBC Concert and Ulster Orchestras. In 2003, he was appointed as the youngest member of the London Symphony Orchestra where he held the first violin sub-principal position, and in addition collaborated with film composers John Williams and Alexandre Desplat.

As a chamber musician Nicholas regularly takes part in series such as the Mainly Mozart Festival, Ribble Valley Festival, LSO and VSO chamber players and Vancouver’s Music on Main. He has performed in venues such as LSO St Luke’s and has collaborated with many renowned artists including Martin Roscoe and Simon Wright. Prior to his appointment as concertmaster of the VSO, he was first violinist of the critically acclaimed Vancouver based Koerner Quartet.

Nicholas received his training as a scholar at the Royal College of Music in London, studying with Itzhak Rashkovsky and Rodney Friend. In addition to winning prizes at the Royal College, Nicholas has been generously supported by grants from the Martin Musical Fund, the Craxton Memorial Fund and the Royal Overseas League. This has enabled him to study with many eminent musicians including Ruggiero Ricci and Gil Shaham. Nicholas enjoys teaching and has given many masterclasses internationally. He is on the faculty of the VSO School of Music. Nicholas plays on a violin by Stefan-Peter Greiner.

‘ wonderfully judged with seemingly effortless projection of tone…..It was a triumph. ‘ - The York Press

VANCOUVER SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Founded in 1919, the Grammy and Juno-award winning Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is the third largest orchestra in Canada, the largest arts organization in Western Canada, and one of the few orchestras in the world to have its own music school.

Led by Music Director Otto Tausk since 2018, the VSO performs more than 150 concerts each year, throughout Vancouver and the province of British Columbia, reaching over 270,000 people annually. Our extensive education and community engagement programs reach tens of thousands more. On tour the VSO has performed in the United States, China, Korea, Japan and across Canada.

The orchestra presents passionate, high-quality performances of classical, popular and culturally diverse music, creating meaningful engagement with audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Recent guest artists include Daniil Trifonov, Dawn Upshaw, James Ehnes, Adrianne Pieczonka, Gidon Kremer, Renée Fleming, Yefim Bronfman, Itzhak Perlman, Bernadette Peters, Tan Dun, and more.

For the 2020-21 season the VSO has created the innovative streaming service TheConcertHall.ca, a virtual home for a virtual season, where more than forty performances will be released throughout the year.


ANTONIO VIVALDI

b. March 4, 1678 / Venice, Italy

d. July 28, 1741 / Vienna, Austria


Le quattro stagione / The Four Seasons

It is hard to imagine, but there was a time, not so very long ago, that Antonio Vivaldi was viewed as just another obscure composer of the baroque-era. Today, there are more than 1000 recordings of his most famous work, the set of four violin concertos known as Le quattro stagione - The Four Seasons. The earliest released recording of The Four Seasons dates from a French radio broadcast in the mid 1930s. The Italian conductor Bernardino Molinari led a recording session for six double-sided 78 rpm discs, released in 1942. And shortly after WWII, the American violinist Louis Kaufman led the movement to the long-playing, 33 rpm records that would catapult Vivaldi to classical rock star status. In popular culture, there have been at least 100 different films and television shows that have used Vivaldi's Four Seasons in some way. Its success undoubtedly prompted the re-discovery of Vivaldi’s copious output of more than 500 concertos!

Vivaldi was inspired to create The Four Seasons by the landscape paintings of a fellow Venetian, the artist Marco Ricci. Using scenes of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter as his inspiration, he composed the set in the early 1720s, and they were published in 1725 as part of a collection titled Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione (The Test of Harmony and Invention). It was not unusual for composers of the Baroque era to imitate words in music – a reference to “rising” in a song might elicit a melody moving upwards for instance – but in The Four Seasons, Vivaldi took the practice to a new level. A series of sonnets provide a kind of storyline for each of the concertos, with a fairly clear description of Nymphs and Shepherd, Countryfolk, Bagpipers and Huntsmen interacting with wildlife and the force of nature. A summary of the sonnets appears below, as well as at the accompanying passages of the video performance. You’ll be sure to hear the imitative call of the birds, the bark of a shepherd’s dog, the hunting party riding out, and the chattering of teeth from a winter wind!

Spring (Concerto in E Major, RV229)

I Allegro

Spring has arrived, and joyfully the birds greet her with glad song, while at Zephyr's breath the streams flow forth with a sweet murmur.
Her chosen heralds, thunder and lightning, come to envelop the air in a black cloak; once they have fallen silent, the little birds return anew to their melodious incantation:

II Largo e pianissimo sempre

then on the pleasant, flower-strewn meadow, to the happy murmur of fronds and plants, the goatherd sleeps next to his trusty dog.

III Danza pastorale: Allegro

To the festive sound of rustic bagpipes, nymphs and shepherds dance beneath the beloved sky at the glorious appearance of spring

Summer (Concerto in G minor, RV315)
I Allegro non molto

In a harsh season burned by the sun, man and flock languish, and the pine tree is scorched; the cuckoo unleashes its voice, and soon we hear the songs of the
turtle-dove and the goldfinch.
Sweet Zephyr blows, but Boreas (the North wind) suddenly opens a dispute with his neighbour; and the shepherd laments his fate for he fears a fierce squall is coming.

II Adagio – Presto

His weary limbs are robbed of rest by his fear of fierce thunder and lightning and by the furious swarm of flies and blowflies.

III Presto

Alas, his fears are only too real: the sky fills with thunder and lightning, and hailstones hew off the heads of proud cornstalks.

Autumn (Concerto in F Major, RV 293)
I Allegro

The countryman celebrates with dance and song the sweet pleasure of a good harvest, and many, fired by the liquor of Bacchus...end their enjoyment by falling asleep.

II Adagio molto

Everyone is made to abandon singing and dancing by the temperate air, which gives pleasure, and by the season, which invites so many to enjoy the sweetness of sleep.

III Allegro

The huntsmen come out at the crack of dawn with their horns, guns and hounds;
the quarry flees and they track it; terrified and tired out by the great noise of the guns and hounds... the wounded beast makes a feeble effort to flee but dies in agony.

Winter (Concerto in F Minor, RV 297)
I Allegro non molto

To shiver, frozen, amid icy snow in the bitter blast of a horrible wind; to run, constantly stamping one's feet; and to feel one's teeth chatter on account of the excessive cold;

II Largo

to spend restful, happy days at the fireside while the rain outside drenches a good hundred;

III Allegro

to walk on the ice, and with slow steps to move about cautiously for fear of falling; to go fast, to slip and fall down; to go on the ice again and run fast until the ice cracks and opens up; to hear coming out of the iron gates...Sirocco, Boreas and all the winds at war: that's winter, but of a kind to gladden one's heart.

Notes: Matthew Baird

VIVALDI The Four Seasons

Nicholas Wright, Violin Soloist & Leader
Ron and Ardelle Cliff Chair

First Violins

Timothy Steeves, Associate Concertmaster
William and Irene McEwen Chair

Jae-Won Bang

Rebecca Whitling

Yi Zhou

Second Violins

Ashley Plaut, Acting Assistant Principal

Carina Vincenti

Xue Feng Wei

Kimi Hamaguchi*

Violas

Andrew Brown, Acting Principal

Katrina Chitty

Jacob van der Sloot

Cellos

Henry Shapard, Principal
Nezhat and Hassan Khosrowshahi Chair

Zoltan Rozsnyai, Assistant Principal

Olivia Blander
Gerhard and Adriane Bruendl Chair

Basses

Evan Hulbert, Associate Principal

Noah Reitman, Assistant Principal

Harpsichord

Amanda Chan*

* Extra Musician

Series Performances

This is some text inside of a div block.
A VSO Christmas Story
This is some text inside of a div block.
Vivaldi's Four Seasons
This is some text inside of a div block.
The Show Must Go On: Stories of Resilience
More series performances to be announced.
Donate

STREAMING IN:

00
DAYS
00
HOURS
00
MIN
00
SEC
Some web browsers automatically mute video players. If you do not hear audio during the performance try adjusting the volume in the video player.

STREAMING IN:

00
DAYS
00
HOURS
00
MIN
00
SEC
Some web browsers automatically mute video players. If you do not hear audio during the performance try adjusting the volume in the video player.
Subscribe Now
Subscribe now to make sure you have access to complete performances as they are released
Subscribe Now
Subscribe now to make sure you have access to complete performances as they are released

Vivaldi's Four Seasons

December 22, 2020 7:30 PM

Nicholas Wright, violin

Vivaldi: Four Seasons

An annual VSO tradition goes virtual. Concertmaster Nicholas Wright leads the VSO in Vivaldi’s timeless The Four Seasons. Free for the whole community, no subscription needed.

Community Engagement Partner:

NEWMONT

Community Engagement Supporter:

CONNOR, CLARK and LUNN FOUNDATION

Nicholas Wright, concertmaster

Concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Nicholas Wright is a native of England. His engagements as soloist, chamber and orchestral musician have taken him to most of the major concert halls in Europe, Asia and North America. He has performed concertos with orchestras worldwide including the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Royal Oman Symphony and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. His repertoire spans works from Handel to premieres by composers such as Kelly-Marie Murphy and Jocelyn Morlock, whose works he recently recorded for the Naxos label. He made his solo debut with the York Guildhall Orchestra playing the Dvořák Romance, which was recorded for BBC Radio 3. His concerts and recordings have also been featured on CBC Radio (Canada) and Radio 4 (Hong Kong). As an orchestral musician, Nicholas has worked with the world’s most renowned conductors including Bernard Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle, Valery Gergiev and Mstislav Rostropovich. He has performed extensively with the major chamber and symphony orchestras in London including the English Chamber and London Philharmonic Orchestras, and has appeared as guest concertmaster with orchestras such as the Bournemouth Symphony, BBC Concert and Ulster Orchestras. In 2003, he was appointed as the youngest member of the London Symphony Orchestra where he held the first violin sub-principal position, and in addition collaborated with film composers John Williams and Alexandre Desplat.

As a chamber musician Nicholas regularly takes part in series such as the Mainly Mozart Festival, Ribble Valley Festival, LSO and VSO chamber players and Vancouver’s Music on Main. He has performed in venues such as LSO St Luke’s and has collaborated with many renowned artists including Martin Roscoe and Simon Wright. Prior to his appointment as concertmaster of the VSO, he was first violinist of the critically acclaimed Vancouver based Koerner Quartet.

Nicholas received his training as a scholar at the Royal College of Music in London, studying with Itzhak Rashkovsky and Rodney Friend. In addition to winning prizes at the Royal College, Nicholas has been generously supported by grants from the Martin Musical Fund, the Craxton Memorial Fund and the Royal Overseas League. This has enabled him to study with many eminent musicians including Ruggiero Ricci and Gil Shaham. Nicholas enjoys teaching and has given many masterclasses internationally. He is on the faculty of the VSO School of Music. Nicholas plays on a violin by Stefan-Peter Greiner.

‘ wonderfully judged with seemingly effortless projection of tone…..It was a triumph. ‘ - The York Press

VANCOUVER SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Founded in 1919, the Grammy and Juno-award winning Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is the third largest orchestra in Canada, the largest arts organization in Western Canada, and one of the few orchestras in the world to have its own music school.

Led by Music Director Otto Tausk since 2018, the VSO performs more than 150 concerts each year, throughout Vancouver and the province of British Columbia, reaching over 270,000 people annually. Our extensive education and community engagement programs reach tens of thousands more. On tour the VSO has performed in the United States, China, Korea, Japan and across Canada.

The orchestra presents passionate, high-quality performances of classical, popular and culturally diverse music, creating meaningful engagement with audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Recent guest artists include Daniil Trifonov, Dawn Upshaw, James Ehnes, Adrianne Pieczonka, Gidon Kremer, Renée Fleming, Yefim Bronfman, Itzhak Perlman, Bernadette Peters, Tan Dun, and more.

For the 2020-21 season the VSO has created the innovative streaming service TheConcertHall.ca, a virtual home for a virtual season, where more than forty performances will be released throughout the year.


ANTONIO VIVALDI

b. March 4, 1678 / Venice, Italy

d. July 28, 1741 / Vienna, Austria


Le quattro stagione / The Four Seasons

It is hard to imagine, but there was a time, not so very long ago, that Antonio Vivaldi was viewed as just another obscure composer of the baroque-era. Today, there are more than 1000 recordings of his most famous work, the set of four violin concertos known as Le quattro stagione - The Four Seasons. The earliest released recording of The Four Seasons dates from a French radio broadcast in the mid 1930s. The Italian conductor Bernardino Molinari led a recording session for six double-sided 78 rpm discs, released in 1942. And shortly after WWII, the American violinist Louis Kaufman led the movement to the long-playing, 33 rpm records that would catapult Vivaldi to classical rock star status. In popular culture, there have been at least 100 different films and television shows that have used Vivaldi's Four Seasons in some way. Its success undoubtedly prompted the re-discovery of Vivaldi’s copious output of more than 500 concertos!

Vivaldi was inspired to create The Four Seasons by the landscape paintings of a fellow Venetian, the artist Marco Ricci. Using scenes of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter as his inspiration, he composed the set in the early 1720s, and they were published in 1725 as part of a collection titled Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione (The Test of Harmony and Invention). It was not unusual for composers of the Baroque era to imitate words in music – a reference to “rising” in a song might elicit a melody moving upwards for instance – but in The Four Seasons, Vivaldi took the practice to a new level. A series of sonnets provide a kind of storyline for each of the concertos, with a fairly clear description of Nymphs and Shepherd, Countryfolk, Bagpipers and Huntsmen interacting with wildlife and the force of nature. A summary of the sonnets appears below, as well as at the accompanying passages of the video performance. You’ll be sure to hear the imitative call of the birds, the bark of a shepherd’s dog, the hunting party riding out, and the chattering of teeth from a winter wind!

Spring (Concerto in E Major, RV229)

I Allegro

Spring has arrived, and joyfully the birds greet her with glad song, while at Zephyr's breath the streams flow forth with a sweet murmur.
Her chosen heralds, thunder and lightning, come to envelop the air in a black cloak; once they have fallen silent, the little birds return anew to their melodious incantation:

II Largo e pianissimo sempre

then on the pleasant, flower-strewn meadow, to the happy murmur of fronds and plants, the goatherd sleeps next to his trusty dog.

III Danza pastorale: Allegro

To the festive sound of rustic bagpipes, nymphs and shepherds dance beneath the beloved sky at the glorious appearance of spring

Summer (Concerto in G minor, RV315)
I Allegro non molto

In a harsh season burned by the sun, man and flock languish, and the pine tree is scorched; the cuckoo unleashes its voice, and soon we hear the songs of the
turtle-dove and the goldfinch.
Sweet Zephyr blows, but Boreas (the North wind) suddenly opens a dispute with his neighbour; and the shepherd laments his fate for he fears a fierce squall is coming.

II Adagio – Presto

His weary limbs are robbed of rest by his fear of fierce thunder and lightning and by the furious swarm of flies and blowflies.

III Presto

Alas, his fears are only too real: the sky fills with thunder and lightning, and hailstones hew off the heads of proud cornstalks.

Autumn (Concerto in F Major, RV 293)
I Allegro

The countryman celebrates with dance and song the sweet pleasure of a good harvest, and many, fired by the liquor of Bacchus...end their enjoyment by falling asleep.

II Adagio molto

Everyone is made to abandon singing and dancing by the temperate air, which gives pleasure, and by the season, which invites so many to enjoy the sweetness of sleep.

III Allegro

The huntsmen come out at the crack of dawn with their horns, guns and hounds;
the quarry flees and they track it; terrified and tired out by the great noise of the guns and hounds... the wounded beast makes a feeble effort to flee but dies in agony.

Winter (Concerto in F Minor, RV 297)
I Allegro non molto

To shiver, frozen, amid icy snow in the bitter blast of a horrible wind; to run, constantly stamping one's feet; and to feel one's teeth chatter on account of the excessive cold;

II Largo

to spend restful, happy days at the fireside while the rain outside drenches a good hundred;

III Allegro

to walk on the ice, and with slow steps to move about cautiously for fear of falling; to go fast, to slip and fall down; to go on the ice again and run fast until the ice cracks and opens up; to hear coming out of the iron gates...Sirocco, Boreas and all the winds at war: that's winter, but of a kind to gladden one's heart.

Notes: Matthew Baird

VIVALDI The Four Seasons

Nicholas Wright, Violin Soloist & Leader
Ron and Ardelle Cliff Chair

First Violins

Timothy Steeves, Associate Concertmaster
William and Irene McEwen Chair

Jae-Won Bang

Rebecca Whitling

Yi Zhou

Second Violins

Ashley Plaut, Acting Assistant Principal

Carina Vincenti

Xue Feng Wei

Kimi Hamaguchi*

Violas

Andrew Brown, Acting Principal

Katrina Chitty

Jacob van der Sloot

Cellos

Henry Shapard, Principal
Nezhat and Hassan Khosrowshahi Chair

Zoltan Rozsnyai, Assistant Principal

Olivia Blander
Gerhard and Adriane Bruendl Chair

Basses

Evan Hulbert, Associate Principal

Noah Reitman, Assistant Principal

Harpsichord

Amanda Chan*

* Extra Musician

Series Performances

This is some text inside of a div block.
A VSO Christmas Story
This is some text inside of a div block.
Vivaldi's Four Seasons
This is some text inside of a div block.
The Show Must Go On: Stories of Resilience
More series performances to be announced.
Donate