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Abstract Leaves

Vivaldi's Four Seasons at 300
Les Arts Florissants with Théotime Langlois de Swarte, violin

Not sure how to pronounce Théotime's name? Click play to hear him say it!

Available March 15 - April 10, 2025 &

November 13 - 25, 2025


When published in 1725 nobody could imagine Vivaldi’s Opus 8, Nos. 1-4 (“The Four Seasons”) would become perhaps the most frequently heard music of all time.  Yet today, 300 years on, they remain as popular as ever.


This program frames these iconic works in a new light.  Their overtly narrative style (Vivaldi included sonnets – perhaps written himself - alongside the music) invites questions about the fleeting, cyclical nature of our existence, our relationship with nature, and the eternal renewal of earth’s cycles, now being modified by climate change.


The opening Monteverdi brings us to a Venice prior to Vivaldi’s birth.  The “Madrigalesco” concerto shows Vivaldi paying homage to the master, echoing Monteverdi’s bold harmonic approach, and thus providing a bridge between this earlier style and 18th century virtuosity. Uccellini’s “Bergamasca” plunges us into the improvisational practices of the Venetians, with a bass line familiar from today’s pop music.


Geminiani’s popular transcription of Corelli’s sonatas for chamber orchestra unites two geniuses of the baroque era.  Corelli, whose groundbreaking Op. 5 (concluding with “Follia” and published in 1700) – was an inspirational figure to the young Vivaldi.  Geminani traveled widely and helped establish Italian repertoire throughout Europe.  This “Follia”, published in 1729, was almost certainly influenced by the appearance of Vivaldi’s Op. 8 just four years prior.

"Vivaldi's Four Seasons  at 300"

(Ensemble of 15 musicians)


Claudio Monteverdi (1567 -1643): Adoramus te, SV 289, transcription.


Antonio Vivaldi  (1678–1741): Concerto for strings and basso continuo

Madrigalesco” RV 129


Marco Uccellini (1603-1680): Bergamasca

Vivaldi:  Concerto in D-Minor, RV 813

Francesco Geminiani (1687–1762):  Concerto XII in D-minor “Follia”. (after Corelli)

Vivaldi:  Concerto in E-Major, Op. 8, No. 1, RV 269  (“Spring”)

Vivaldi:  Concerto in G-Minor, Op. 8, No. 2, RV 315 (“Summer”)


Vivaldi:  Overture to “La Fida Ninfa” (“The Faithful Nymph”) in F-Major, FV 714
Vivaldi:  Concerto in F-Major, Op. 8, No. 3 RV 293 (“Autumn”)

Vivaldi:  Grave from Violin Concerto in Bb-Major, RV 370
Vivaldi:  Concerto in F-Minor, Op. 8, No. 4 RV 297 (“Winter”)

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