Happy Birthday Vivaldi!

  1. Thom
  2. March 4, 2010 2:24 am

Google Vivaldi's Birthday

Google Celebrates Vivaldi's Birthday!

Today is Vivaldi’s Birthday, and Google is celebrating  with what looks like a “Four Seasons” of violins in their logo for the day.  Full name Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, was born in Venice in 1678. That would make him 332 years old today! While he was a famous composer, Antonio also became a Master of Violin in his twenties and was recorded to have astounded others with his improvised cadenza. A cadenza is a special solo inserted in a piece to allow the soloist a moment to show off their expertise and flair.

Fun Facts:

  • Vivaldi was a red head
  • He wrote somewhere in the area of 500 concerti, somewhere between 40-90 operas (much debate apparently), and a good amount of sacred pieces.
  • Bach had later arranged some Vivaldi pieces.
  • Vivaldi is most famous for his Four Seasons concerto.


Read more about Vivaldi on Wikipedia!

Enjoy Vivaldi’s Four Seasons set to sand animation/art below! Listen closely and try and interpret the musical imagery used. In the beginning of Spring, for instance, imagine bird singing to each other, while in Summer you can imagine a storm brewing.  It is said that the four movements or seasons were set to four sonnets:

Spring has come and with it gaiety
The birds salute it with joyous song.
And the brooks, caressed by Zephyr’s breath,
Flow meanwhile with sweet murmurings.

The sky is covered with dark clouds,
Announced by lightning and thunder.
But when they are silenced, the little birds
Return to fill the air with their song.

Then does the meadow, in full flower,
Ripple with its leafy plants.
The goat-herd dozes, guarded by his faithful dog.

Rejoicing in the pastoral bagpipes,
Nymphs and Shepherds dance, in love,
Their faces glowing with Springtime’s brilliance.

Under the heavy season of a burning sun,
Man languishes, his herd wilts, the pine is parched
The cuckoo finds its voice, and chiming in with it
The turtle-dove, the goldfinch.

Zephyr breathes gently but, contested,
The North-wind appears nearby and suddenly:
The shepherd sobs because, uncertain,
He fears the wild squall and its effects:

His weary limbs have no repose, goaded by
His fear of lightning and wild thunder;
While gnats and flies in furious swarms surround him.
Alas, his fears prove all too grounded,
Thunder and lightning split the Heavens, and hail-stones
Slice the top of the corn and other grain.


The country-folk celebrate, with dance and song,
The joy of gathering a bountiful harvest.
With Bacchus’s liquor, quaffed liberally,
Their joy finishes in slumber.

Each one renounces dance and song
The mild air is pleasant
And the season invites every increasingly
To savor a sweet slumber.

The hunters at dawn go to the hunt,
With horns and guns and dogs they sally forth,
The beasts flee, their trail is followed.
Already dismayed and exhausted, from the great noise
Of guns and dogs, threatened with wounds,
They flee, languishing, and die, cowering.


Frozen and trembling amid the chilly snow
Our breathing hampered by horrid winds
As we run, we stamp our feet continuously,
Our teeth chatter with the frightful cold.
We move to the fire and contented peace
While the rain outside pours in sheets.
Now we walk on the ice, with slow steps
Attentive how we walk, for fear of falling.

If we move quickly, we slip and fall to earth,
Again walking heavily on the ice,
Until the ice breaks and dissolves;

We hear from the closed doors
Boreas and all the winds at war,
This is winter, but such as brings joy.”

What is your favorite Vivaldi piece? Please share in the comments below!

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