Vivaldi Four Seasons
Carr Four New Seasons
Orchestration: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet in Bb & A, Bassoon, Horn in F,
Trumpet in C, Percussion (Triangle, Snare Drum, Tenor Drum, Cymbals,
Crotales, Glockenspiel), Harp
Strings (Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Bass)
Mixed Voice Choir (SATB)
Vivaldi reimagined! Settings of poems depicting the four seasons. Each season is made up of three interlinked sections/poems.
Ever since I first encountered Vivaldi's Four Seasons (it was set for my Music O Level exam) I have loved the imagery and variety these four concertos for violin and string orchestra conjure up. There have been many re-interpretations of this work by various composers over the years, a sure testament to its enduring popularity, but very few have involved voices, and I’ve long thought of using the original Vivaldi as a basis for a new choral work, setting poems suggested to me by the atmosphere created by the individual movements in each of the four concertos.
For the most part, I have taken the harmonic structure of each movement and formed new material of my own, adding in direct quotes here and there from the more popular and instantly recognisable sections of the Vivaldi; for example, the hunting motif Vivaldi uses in the 3rd movement of Autumn, I've used to evoke the fluttering of leaves as they fall to the ground, and the lyrical theme he uses in the 2nd movement of Winter to describe a day by the fireside, I've given to the oboe in accompanying Rossetti’s popular poem "In the Bleak Midwinter".
The poems all relate to the moods and atmosphere created by Vivaldi's evocative music, and mostly belong to their respective seasons. Emily Dickinson's famous love-poem "Wild Nights" does not directly mention Summer, but it’s passionate outpouring has always felt to me like an evocation of summer nights, and it suits the passionate warmth of this season. Paul Carr
Click below for concert fliers: