“Summer” from The Four Seasons

First Movement
By Antonio Vivaldi / arr. Brendan McBrien

This music is hot, and Vivaldi wanted it that way! You’ll feel the heat and experience a gathering summer storm in this work. Performers and audience alike will love the drama and energy in this familiar classic. There are parts for solo violin and cello, and like Vivaldi’s original, the music includes his sonnet text written into the parts so students can experience what the master was communicating through the music. A guaranteed winner on your next orchestra concert!

Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741) composed his wildly popular concertos, The Four Seasons, in
1725 as part of a set of 12 concertos, opus 8. Composed for a group of his students at the

orphanage for girls where he taught (Ospedale della Pietà), one can only imagine what a talented teacher Vivaldi was to present such difficult works with such young musicians! One fact not widely known about these works is that Vivaldi composed a sonnet to accompany each concerto that included scenes from life associated with that particular season. This text was written right into the music so the performers would understand what the music was attempting to convey. 83 years later, Beethoven used a similar approach in his Pastoral Symphony, which contains descriptive titles for each movement that Beethoven said was “a matter more of feeling than of painting in sounds.” Vivaldi’s example is therefore more literal than Beethoven’s, given the text’s placement directly into the score.

Enter your email address to receive free recordings and best practices for music educators sent to your inbox.
* indicates required