Below are the words behind ‘Spring’ the first of Antonio Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ where each ‘Season’ consists of a three-movement concerto. The words form a sonnet and Vivaldi created a sonnet for each season prior to musical composition.
La Primavera (Spring)
Opus 8, No. 1, in E Major
Festive Spring has arrived,
The birds salute it with their happy song.
And the brooks, caressed by little Zephyrs,
Flow with a sweet murmur.
The sky is covered with a black mantle,
And thunder, and lightning, announce a storm.
When they are silent, the birds
Return to sing their lovely song.
II. Largo e pianissimo sempre—
And in the meadow, rich with flowers,
To the sweet murmur of leaves and plants,
The goatherd sleeps, with his faithful dog at his side.
III. Danza pastorale. Allegro—
To the festive sound of pastoral bagpipes,
Dance nymphs and shepherds,
At Spring’s brilliant appearance.
I. Allegro— to play fast, quickly and bright … Zephyr = a soft gentle breeze … the underlying theme is ‘bird song’ before and after a spring storm
II. Largo e pianissimo sempre— slow, to be played softly and sustained throughout … the sleeping goatherd and the murmur of nature marry nicely
III. Danza pastorale. Allegro—ending in fast, bright dance of nature … with visions of nymphs( = the spirit of nature as a young maiden) and shepherds in festive mood
We rarely read the words before listening to the music. I think they are well reflected in the musical composition. Below are Youtube links to each of the above components for comparison.