|Dearest Examiners, today we will not be exploring any person, poem nor event. Today we will examine music; the language of the soul. To be specific, we will examine Vivaldi’s Concerto no. 2 in G minor, “L’estate” presto; also known as Summer In Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.|
|Vivaldi was a baroque composer, born in Venice. The Four Seasons is arguably his most famous work, written in 1716 CE. This amazing orchestral marvel is meant to evoke the spirit of each season and conjure imagery of the acts which usually occur within them.|
In Spring (Concerto no. 1, La Primavera), we can imagine birds flying around contentedly, and shepherds lazily guiding their flock.
In Summer (Concerto no 2, L’estate), powerful storms and peaceful slumbers.
In Autumn (Concerto no. 3, L’autunno), buzzing flies, hunting from the perspective of the predator and of the prey.
In Winter(Concerto no. 4, L’inverno), we are shown the nigh-unearthly tundra, fear-inducing blizzards and feel the warm winter fires of a home’s hearth.
Presto is the final movement of the summer section of the Four Seasons, and it depicts the unrelenting power and destructive force of Nature, who cares not for the fears and whims of man.
Listen, Examiner, to the summer storm: (after your first listen, I recommend you listen to it a second time, this time reading my comments as the concerto plays.)
Vivaldi’s L’estate, presto
|Hear its beginning.|
(0:01) It is dread, pure carnal fear of what is to come… waiting in anxious anticipation as the sky darkens over our heads
(0:13) Then–the first drops of rain plummet from the dark mass above us. Now we are beneath the storm.
(0:25) Feel its wrath, its rage. It is the release of pure, unbridled passion and we are no better than the wheat and flowers below it, subject to its celestial reckoning. We tremble beneath the incomprehensible power of its elemental foray.
(0:38) Now… a moment to breathe… the storm dies down for a second and we stare up at it again in awe, this time our terror mixed with… reverence?
(0:43) Now we see the storm in a new light, it is power, it is purpose! It is the embodiment of the very act of claiming what is yours!
(0:52) As the rain begins to fall again, we no longer tremble beneath its horrible magnificence, no, now we ARE the storm!
(1:01) We are lifted off of the ground, we gaze down at the vast body of earth below us. We gather our strength and collect our wits. Now we are armed with the certainty of our infinite capability!
(1:10) We set off! Off to do what we were brought into this world to do!
(1:23) We travel over humble hills and proud mountains, casting rain beneath us,
(1:39) providing sustenance to some and destruction to others! (1:53)
(2:07) We are the insuperable* force of nature!
(2:18) We are mighty conviction and we are strength!
(2:33) Finally, with one last mighty push, our storm is over, ending with a deep breath as we behold the endless sky that sprawls out before us.
(2:47) Our rains have ceased for now, but our storm is not over.
Be the storm dear Examiner, powerful and inspiring.
Go forth and cast your rains!
*Word of the day: Insuperable; impossible to be overcome or defeated.
|Yours Truly, |
The Golden Scribe
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” -Socrates