Notes and Historical Information
Vivaldi's Four Seasons was published in 1725, in a set of twelve concerto's entitled Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione (The Test of Harmony and Invention). Each concerto is in the distinct form of fast-slow-fast movements. Vivaldi's Four Seasons especially appealed to the French. King Louis XV took a liking to 'Spring' and ordered it to be performed at the most unexpected moments.
Vivaldi's Four Seasons are among the boldest program music of the baroque period. Antonio Vivaldi wrote the individual Sonnets to go along with each movement of the Four Seasons. What's amazing is how accurately Vivaldi musically portrays each Sonnet without losing the overall quality and balance of the work. I strongly recommend listening to each movement of the Four Seasons while reading the corresponding Sonnets. It's truly unique experience.