The Four Seasons (Italian: Le quattro stagioni) is a set of four violin concertos by Antonio Vivaldi. Composed in 1725, The Four Seasons is Vivaldi’s best-known work, and is among the most popular pieces in the classical music repertoire. The texture of each concerto is varied, each resembling its respective season. For example, “Winter” is peppered with silvery pizzicato notes from the high strings, calling to mind icy rain, whereas “Summer” evokes a thunderstorm in its final movement, which is why the movement is often called “Storm” (as noted in the list of derivative works).
The concertos were first published in 1725 as part of a set of twelve concerti, Vivaldi’s Op. 8, entitled Il cimento dell’armonia e dell’inventione (The Contest Between Harmony and Invention). Vivaldi dedicated their publication to a Bohemian patron, Count Václav Morzin (of Vrchlabí 1676–1737), and in so mentioned the count’s longstanding regard for these four, in particular (which had apparently been performed with the nobleman’s orchestra, in Prague’s Morzin Palace)—although his dedication may have been closely related to the completion of an Augustinian monastery that year, where Vivaldi, a priest himself, refers to Morzin, the church’s dedicator, as “Chamberlain and Counsellor to His Majesty, the Catholic Emperor”—while (as Maestro di Musica in Italy) Vivaldi presents them anew, with sonnets or enhancements for clear interpretation. The first four concertos are designated Le quattro stagioni, each being named after a season. Each one is in three movements, with a slow movement between two faster ones (and these movements likewise vary in tempo amid the seasons as a whole). At the time of writing The Four Seasons, the modern solo form of the concerto had not yet been defined (typically a solo instrument and accompanying orchestra). Vivaldi’s original arrangement for solo violin with string quartet and basso continuo helped to define the form of the concerto. (by wikipedia)
Andrew Watkinson was born in Glasgow, and began to play the violin when he was seven. He was a pupil at the Yehudi Menuhin School for four years, and also studied in Switzerland and Leningrad. His many teachers included Frederick Grinke, Joseph Szigeti, Franco Gulli and Yfrah Neaman.
Andrew leads a varied musical career: as first violin of the Endellion String Quartet he travels all over the world to give concerts as well as being in residence at Cambridge University. In its 34 years the quartet has given over 2,500 concerts. To mark Endellion’s 30th anniversary its recording of all the Beethoven string quartets and quintets for Warner Classics was released to critical acclaim.
As a soloist Andrew has appeared with many of the British orchestras and performed in Germany, Holland, Israel, France and South America. He has played more than 40 romantic and 20th century concertos and recorded the set of 12 concertos La Stravaganza for Naxos.
For many years he was leader and director of the City of London Sinfonia, giving concerts in Britain and touring widely, and he also directed recordings with them for Virgin Classics and BMG. He is invited to guest direct orchestras in Britain as well as in countries such as Italy, Denmark and Spain and from time to time guest leads and directs the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra. In the past few years he has also branched out into conducting.
Andrew is also a member of the Galini piano trio, the string quintet Pentatonic and has a violin duo with Sara Trickey. In 2009 he received the degree of Honorary Doctor of Arts from the University of Hertfordshire.
And now it´s time to enjoy one of the most famous composition of Antonio Vivaldi !
Michael Meeks (trumpet)
Crispian Steele-Perkins (trumpet)
Nicholas Ward (violin)
Andrew Watkinson (violin)
City Of London Sinfonia directed by Andrew Watkinson
The Four Seasons:
Spring: Concerto for Violin, op. 8, No. 1 in E-major:
01. Allegro 3.09
02. Largo 2.38
03. Allegro 3.43
Summer: Concerto for Violin, op. 8, No. 1 in G minor:
04. Allegro non molto 4.53
05. Adagio 2.07
06. Presto 2.38
Autumn: Concerto for Violin, op. 8, No. 1 in F major:
07. Allegro 5.21
08. Adagio molto 2.16
09. Allegro 3.20
Winter: Concerto for Violin, op. 8, No. 1 in F minor:
10. Allegro non molto 3.18
11. Largo 2.11
12. Allegro 2.45
Concerto For Two Violins in A minor:
13. Allegro 3.26
14. Larghetto e spiritoso 3.47
15. Allegro 3.12
Concerto For Two Trumepts in C major:
16. Allegro 2.51
17. Largo 1.03
18. Allegro 3.00
Composed by Antonio Vivaldi