The four seasons of the year are a subject for countless poems and stories, and in the world of Baroque music, one of the best-loved works, “The Fours Seasons” by Antonio Vivaldi.
Tempesta di Mare, the Baroque orchestra based in Philadelphia, is celebrating its 15th season with what it’s calling a “season of seasons.”
“We’re basing the repertoire choices on Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons,'” said co-director Gryn Roberts. “We’re expanding from there to a lot of lesser-known repertoire that is in one way or another related to Vivaldi’s ‘Seasons.'”
“‘The Four Seasons’ are full of explicit and implied imagery,” she said. “Vivaldi wrote them with sonnets embedded in the music. They’re actually written into the part books that the original players played from, and that our players will play from as well.”
“They’re dancing and celebrating the harvest,” said fellow co-director Richard Stone, describing the opening movement. “Then there’s a reveler who just goes a little too far in his revelry and, all of a sudden, he becomes the center of attention. Sort of like dancing with a lampshade on his head. “
Though Vivaldi was vivid with the poetic language he inserted into the Four Seasons, like many of his contemporaries, he was a bit more loose with the music notation, said Roberts. “The notation is not super explicit. So there’s a lot that is open to interpretation and is expected of us as performers, so we can really put our own stamp on it.”
Tempesta di Mare will perform its concert program “Fall: A Chill in the Air” on Saturday evening at the American Philosophical Society and at the Chestnut Hill Presbyterian Church on Sunday afternoon.