Summer by Vivaldi

By | May 31, 2024

Vivaldi’s ‘Summer’ from The Four Seasons

Embracing the Radiance of Summer

As the sun ascends to its zenith and nature bursts forth in a symphony of vibrant colors and lively activity, we find ourselves immersed in the enchanting season of summer. It is a time of warmth, vitality, and exuberance, where the world seems to come alive with energy and vitality. What better way to celebrate the spirit of summer than through the evocative music of Antonio Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” particularly the exuberant ode to summer found within this timeless masterpiece.

Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”

“The Four Seasons” is one of Vivaldi’s most famous pieces. It’s a set of violin concertos that represents the different seasons. Each concerto shows what each season feels like. Out of all four pieces, the one about summer is particularly special. It celebrates the season’s brightness and energy.

The Summer Sonnet


Allegro non molto
“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, mà 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!” 

“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.”1


Allegro non molto
Beneath the blazing sun’s relentless heat 
men and flocks are sweltering, 
pines are scorched.
We hear the cuckoo’s voice; then sweet songs of the turtle dove and finch are heard.
Soft breezes stir the air….but threatening north wind sweeps them suddenly aside. The shepherd trembles, fearful of violent storm and what may lie ahead.

Adagio e piano – Presto e forte
His limbs are now awakened from their repose by fear of lightning’s flash and thunder’s roar, as gnats and flies buzz furiously around.

Alas, his worst fears were justified, as the heavens roar and great hailstones beat down upon the proudly standing corn.

The Joy of Summer

In the “Summer” concerto, Vivaldi paints a vivid musical portrait of the season’s abundant beauty and vitality. From the opening notes, one can almost feel the heat of the sun beating down and hear the buzzing of insects in the air. The first movement, marked by its energetic rhythms and lively melodies, captures the joyous spirit of summer, as nature revels in the warmth and abundance of the season.

A Musical Storm

Yet, amidst the sun-drenched beauty of summer, Vivaldi introduces a dramatic contrast in the concerto’s second movement. Here, the music takes on a darker and more ominous tone, as Vivaldi depicts the approach of a summer storm. Thunderous timpani rolls and frenetic violin passages evoke the fury of the tempest, transporting listeners to the heart of the storm as it unleashes its wrath upon the land.

The Serenity of Aftermath

Following the storm, the concerto’s final movement brings a sense of calm and serenity to the musical landscape. The air is fresh, the sky clears, and nature emerges from the deluge renewed and revitalized. Vivaldi’s music captures this sense of renewal and tranquility, as the violin weaves a gentle melody over a backdrop of shimmering strings, reflecting the serene beauty of a summer evening.

Conclusion: A Musical Celebration of Summer

In Vivaldi’s “Summer” concerto, we hear a lively celebration of the season’s vibrant beauty and energetic vibe. From the happy tunes of its first part to the dramatic storm in the second, and the calm ending, Vivaldi’s music really feels like summer. So, as we enjoy the warmth and liveliness of the season, let’s take a moment to enjoy Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” and feel the summer vibes it brings.

  1. Italian and English text taken from ↩︎

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