Vivaldi Four Seasons and Ballet
For lovers of the Baroque period, few experiences can be better than hearing Antonio Vivaldi’s music live in Venice. In a programme dedicated to La Serenissima’s famous son, the Musica in Maschera Baroque Ensemble of solo violinist, harpist and string quartet will take you on a journey back to the 1700s spanning twenty-six years of Vivaldi’s music.
The concert begins with the Andante first movement from Vivaldi’s 1731 Trio Sonata for violin, lute and continuo in G minor, before moving on to his evergreen suite of violin concertos published in Amsterdam in 1725, The Four Seasons. Each evening will conclude with the Trio Sonata in D minor popularly known as "La Follia", the last of the twelve trio sonatas for two violins and basso continuo composed by Vivaldi in 1705.
The Ensemble, dressed in eighteenth-century costume, will accompany a ballerina dancing “La Follia”, the Andante and all four slow movements of The Four Seasons. In Vivaldi’s day, an evening of musical entertainment would have invariably included balletic performances; Musica in Maschera’s presentation authentically recreates the setting in which Vivaldi’s music was originally enjoyed.
The venue for the concerts is the Scuola Grande dei Carmini, located in the sestiere of Dorsoduro. The Scuole Grandi were a peculiarly Venetian institution: charitable foundations run by the laity. They were also vitally important to the development of classical music: the places where the first bowed instruments - violoni - were played.
Vivaldi was an extraordinarily prolific musician writing some five hundred concertos and ninety sonatas as well as operas and sacred music. He established the fast-slow-fast format of concertos that endured throughout the Classical and Romantic periods and was singularly adept at combining the distinctive timbres of different instruments.
With their choice of Vivaldi repertoire, in particular “La Follia”, which the composer based on Arcangelo Corelli's Opus 5 No. 12 Violin Sonata in D minor, "La Folia” - a work that can trace its own origins to one of the oldest scored melodies in the Western tradition and which has been reinterpreted by composers ever since – the Musica in Maschera Baroque Ensemble will reconnect you with some of the most far-reaching moments in musical history.