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Listening Assignment: Introductory Concepts



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    There is no doubt that “The Four Seasons” is among the best musical pieces whose beauty has stood the test of time.  Benjamin Ivry (2007) wrote the following in his commentary on the masterpiece:

    It is a set of four violin concertos by the Venetian composer, Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), [that] remains one of the all-time bestsellers in classical recording, with over 200 CD versions currently in print.  Written in 1723 as part of a twelve-concerto series entitled “The Contest Between Harmony and Invention,” The Four Seasons has appeared in endless guises in pop culture, particularly on soundtracks of films…

    Performed by an orchestral ensemble and solo violin, “The Four Seasons” is inspired by nature – it even includes, among other things, the sounds of birds, bees, and dogs.  “Winter” is the part that portrays in music the cold, bleak and desolate feelings that such season can bring.  This creative composition conveys unhappiness, and even pain or suffering to the listener, depending on the latter’s life experiences and depth of imagination.  Indeed, it is a marvel that the same instruments that played the jovial spirit of “Spring” could as well evoke such an eerie and sad sensation in the listener.

    I think the entire composition is a work of genius and that each component of it effectively served the purpose of putting together a marvelous classic; thus, its unfading appeal to listeners.


    1. Ivry, Benjamin.  (2007).  Why the Four Seasons?  The Horizon, Commentary Magazine             (

    Listening Assignment: Introductory Concepts. (2016, Dec 26). Retrieved from

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