H O M E

Le Quattro Stagioni (The Four Seasons)

Antonio Vivaldi

Contents:

Spring
Summer
Autumn
Winter


Notes

Poets' Corner Scripting
© 2009 S.L. Spanoudis and
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Le Quattro Stagioni (The Four Seasons)

by Antonio Vivaldi

Sonnets to accompany Concertos #1-4 from
The Contest Between Harmony and Invention (1723)


Antonio Vivaldi (1678 - 1741)


La Primavera

Allegro

Giunt' la Primavera e festosetti
La Salutan gl' Augei con lieto canto,
E i fonti allo Spirar de' Zeffiretti
Con dolce mormorio Scorrono intanto:

Vengon' coprendo l' aer di nero amanto
E Lampi, e tuoni ad annuntiarla eletti
Indi tacendo questi, gl' Augelletti;
Tornan' di nuovo al lor canoro incanto:

Largo

E quindi sul fiorito ameno prato
Al caro mormorio di fronde e piante
Dorme 'l Caprar col fido can' lato.

Allegro

Di pastoral Zampogna al suon festante
Danzan Ninfe e Pastor nel tetto amato
Di primavera all' apparir brillante.

Spring

Allegro

The festive Spring has arrived,
The birds celebrate her return with happy songs,
And the brooks of the gentle Zephyrs
With sweet murmurs flow, but,

The sky is covered in a dark mantle
And lightning and thunfer announce a storm.
When quiet returns, the birds
Again take up their lovely songs.

Largo

And in the flower-rich meadow,
To the gentle murmur of leaves and plants
The goatherd sleeps, his faithful dog at his side.

Allegro

To the merry sounds of a rustic bagpipe
Nymphs and shepherds dance in their beloved spot
When Spring appears in its brilliance.




L'Estate

Allegro non molto - Allegro

Sotto dura Staggion dal Sole accesa
Langue l' huom, langue 'l gregge, ed arde il Pino;
Scioglie il Cucco la Voce, e tosto intesa
Canta la Tortorella e 'l gardelino.

Zeffiro dolce Spira, m contesa
Muove Borea improviso al Suo vicino;
E piange il Pastorel, perche sospesa
Teme fiera borasca, e 'l suo destino;

Adagio e piano - Presto e forte

Toglie alle membra lasse il Suo riposo
Il timore de' Lampi, e tuoni fieri
E de mosche, e mossoni il Stuol furioso!

Presto

Ah che pur troppo i Suo timor Son veri
Tuona e fulmina il Ciel e grandioso
Tronca il capo alle Spiche e a' grani alteri.

Summer

Allegro non molto - Allegro

Under the merciless sun
Languishes man and flock; the pine tree burns,
The cuckoo begins to sing and at once
Join in the turtle doves and the goldfinch.

A gentle breeze blows, but Boreas
Joins battle suddenly with his neighbour,
And the shepherd weeps because overhead
Hangs the dreaded storm, and his destiny.

Adagio e piano - Presto e forte

His tired limbs are robbed of their rest
By his fear of the lightning and the heavy thunder
And by the furious swarm of flies and hornets.

Presto

Alas, his fears are well founded
There is thunder and lightning in the sky
And the hail cuts down the lofty ears of corn.




L'Autunno

Allegro

Celebra il Vilanel con balli e Canti
Del felice raccolto il bel piacere
E del liquor de Bacco accesi tanti
Finiscono col Sonno il lor godere

Adagio molto

F ch' ogn' uno tralasci e balli e canti
L' aria che temperata d piacere,
E la Staggion ch' invita tanti e tanti
D' un dolcissimo Sonno al bel godere.

Allegro

I cacciator alla nov' alba caccia
Con corni, Schioppi, e canni escono fuore
Fugge la belua, e Seguono la traccia;

Gi Sbigottita, e lassa al gran rumore
De' Schioppi e canni, ferita minaccia
Languida di fuggir, m oppressa muore

Autumn

Allegro

The peasant celebrates with song and dance
The pleasure of the rich harvest,
And full of the liquor of Bacchus
They finish their merrymaking with a sleep.

Adagio molto

All are made to leave off singing and dancing
By the air which now mild gives pleasure
And by the season which invited many
To enjoy a sweet sleep.

Allegro

At dawn the hunters
With horns and guns and dogs leave their homes;
The beast flees; they follow its traces.

Already terrified and tired by the great noise
Of the guns and the dogs, and wounded it tries
Feebly to escape, but exhausted dies.




L'Inverno

Allegro non molto

Aggiacciato tremar tr nevi algenti
Al Severo Spirar d' orrido Vento,
Correr battendo i piedi ogni momento;
E pel Soverchio gel batter i denti;

Largo

Passar al foco i di quieti e contenti
Mentre la pioggia fuor bagna ben cento
Caminar Sopra il giaccio, e passo lento
Per timor di cader gersene intenti;

Allegro

Gir forte Sdruzziolar, cader terra
Di nuove ir Sopra 'l giaccio e correr forte
Sin ch' il giaccio si rompe, e si disserra;

Sentir uscir dalle ferrate porte
Sirocco Borea, e tutti i Venti in guerra
Quest' 'l verno, m tal, che gioia apporte

Winter

Allegro non molto

Frozen and shivering in the icy snow.
In the strong blasts of a terrible wind
To run stamping ones feet at every step
With ones teeth chattering through the cold.

Largo

To spend the quiet and happy days by the fire
Whilst outside the rain soaks everyone.
To walk on the ice with slow steps
And go carefully for fear of falling.

Allegro

To go in haste, slide and fall down:
To go again on the ice and run,
Until the ice cracks and open.

To hear leaving their iron-gated house
Sirocco, Boreas and all the winds in battle:
This is winter, but it brings joy.



These sonnets were published along with the music for The Four Seasons (which Vivaldi composed based on four paintings of the seasons by Marco Ricci. The poems are generally thought to be written by Vivaldi himself -- based on comments he made in the margins of his sheet music, but there is some question over the attribution.

Vivaldi was a prolific composer, writing 46 operas and over 500 concerti. His works, such as this one, were much anticipated in their day, but dropped out of style and were figuratively and litterally lost until the early 20th century when most of his work was 're-discovered' and populatized by several artists and musicians including the poet Ezra Pound.

Recordings of the concertos are available from several sources on the Web. Have a listen, and see how well you think Vivaldi's sonnets are echoed in his music.

This electronic text was compiled from several sources. The preparer of this edition believes the text to be in the public domain in the United States of America, but notes that it may still be copyrighted in some other countries. Consult local copyright laws before using or storing this text outside the USA.



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