The structure of the first solo concertos, imagined in Italy between the end of the 17 th and the beginning of the 18 th century, is very clear. The division is lucid, and the thought process is carried out in an orderly fashion. Three short movements follow one another (lively, slow, lively), in which a regulated alternation manages the interactions of the soloist and the orchestral mass. Built in this way, according to a symmetrical principle, these works enhance the idea of harmony – here understood in the sense of balance and architecture. To this luminous cohesion – the daughter of the same logic that would soon light up the torch of the greatest philosophers – invention responds, this capacity of the imagination to catch fire to renew wise words and enliven the discourse with new, unprecedented formulas.
The Four Seasons, a group of four violin concertos, were published in 1725, at the head of a collection entitled Il Cimento dell’Armonia e dell’Inventione (The Contest Between Harmony and Invention).Throughout the pages, some of which are now among the most famous in classical music, the limpidity of the structure is constantly confronted by the power of a heated imagination, which seeks to bring out surprising sound images – murmurs of springtime streams, barking dogs, cuckoo calls, the roar of storms, hunting horns or the crackling of fire. Far from the elevator music we’ve made of them, these pieces are the expression of a great outdoors quivering with life; they are full of creativity, freshness, youth, movement. It is time to hear them again, in all their vitality. Harmony and invention of nature, harmony and invention of music – viva Vivaldi!
Théâtre de Valère
rue du Vieux Collège 22