Saturday, February 22, 2020 – 8:00PM
First Presbyterian Church (Arthur Newcombe Room)
10025 105 Street, Edmonton
4 Seasons, 4 Viols
Antonio Vivaldi’s (1678-1741) Quattro Stagioni revisited
Ingenious arrangements of Vivaldi’s 4 Seasons for four violas da gamba.
Les Voix humaines Consort of Viols
Concerto n° 1 , op. 8, RV 269, « La primavera »*
Songster Chaconne – One Charming Night Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
En montant la rivière * traditional
Concerto n° 2, op. 8, RV 315, « L’estate »**
Allegro non molto – Allegro
Adagio – Presto – Adagio
Summertime *** George Gershwin (1898-1937)
* * * * *
Concerto n° 3, op. 8, RV 293, « L’autunno » *
Autumn Leaves (1945) *&** Joseph Kosma (1905-1969)
Harvest Chaconne Henry Purcell
Concerto n° 4, op. 8, RV 297, « L’inverno » **
Allegro non molto
Petite berceuse du début de la colonie ** Gilles Vigneault /Robert Bibeau
* arrangement: Susie Napper
** arrangement: Margaret Little
*** arrangement : Jay Bernfeld
The Four Seasons (Le Quattro Stagioni) is Antonio Vivaldi’s (1678-1741) most popular set of concertos. What a bizarre phenomenon that these pieces are heard nowadays as elevator and supermarket Muzak, as street music on anything from accordion to Jews harp as well as annoying, “ on hold” telephone entertainment!
However, the popularity of The Four Seasons is nothing new. They were amongst the Top Ten tunes during the 18th century! Spring was performed regularly from 1725 to 1790 at the Concerts spirituels, the Parisian concert series. There are also many period arrangements of the concertos for diverse instruments, from solo recorder to full orchestra with choir. Stealing music was common practice in the baroque period. Like clay, it was a medium to be modelled to fit different instruments and new performance situations. Les Voix humaines is, therefore, following a well-trodden, baroque tradition by arranging these pieces for the fun of it!
Each of Vivaldi’s seasons is filled with word painting: you can hear the birds singing, dogs barking and the hurdy-gurdy in Spring, the thunder storms and mosquitos in Summer, the drunken farmers and hunting horns in Autumn and the wind, ice and rain in Winter. Vivaldi includes short poetic descriptions of the seasons throughout the music which you will hear during this performance. You’ll also hear some other well-known jazz standards, pop tunes and traditional songs (by Henry Purcell, George Gershwin or Joseph Kosma) that we’ve slipped into the concertos for your pleasure and ours.
Luckily we’ll never know if Vivaldi is turning in his grave!