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The Four Seasons

Composer: Antonio Vivaldi

Instrument: Percussion Ensemble

Level: Intermediate

Published: 2013

Price: €40.00

Item details

  • Description +
    • Arranged by Thomas Aanonlie
      Duration: approx. 20 min.

      For my fourth publishing for Edition Svitzer I have arranged four movements from the orchestral piece The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi.


      1)     Concerto No. 1 in E-major, RV.269: Summer (quartet)
      Vibraphone & Marimba I.-III. 

      2)    Concerto No. 2 in G-major, RV.315: Summer (quintet)
      Xylophone, Vibraphone & Marimba I.-III. 

      3)     Concerto No. 3 in F-major, RV.293: Autumn (quartet)
      Xylophone & Marimba I.-III. 

      4)     Concerto No. 4 in Eb-major, RV.297: Autumn (quintet)
      Xylophone, Vibraphone & Marimba I.-III.

  • Instrumentation +
    • Percussion Ensemble (4-5 players)

      Required Instruments:
      1 Xylophone
      1 Vibraphone
      3 Marimbas

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  • About the composer +
    • Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (4 March 1678 – 28 July 1741) was a Venetian Baroque composer, virtuoso violinist, teacher and cleric. Born in Venice, he is recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread across Europe. He is known mainly for composing many instrumental concertos, for the violin and a variety of other instruments, as well as sacred choral works and more than forty operas. His best-known work is a series of violin concertos known as The Four Seasons. 

      Many of his compositions were written for the female music ensemble of the Ospedale della Pietà, a home for abandoned children where Vivaldi (who had been ordained as a Catholic priest) was employed from 1703 to 1715 and from 1723 to 1740. Vivaldi also had some success with expensive stagings of his operas in Venice, Mantua and Vienna. After meeting the Emperor Charles VI, Vivaldi moved to Vienna, hoping for preferment. However, the Emperor died soon after Vivaldi's arrival, and Vivaldi himself died less than a year later in poverty.

  • Reviews +
    • Percussive Notes, May 2014

      This selective arrangement of four particular movements from Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” is scored for keyboard percussion ensemble, with each movement able to stand alone in performance or combined as a more substantial suite. Instrumentation varies slightly, consistently requiring three marimbists on three instruments, with vibraphone, bells, and/or xylophone depending on the movement. With the exception of one marimba part in one movement, all of the individual parts are playable with two mallets, although some of the arpeggiated passages may be more easily performed with four mallets. The composer notes that each movement is presented in the original key, so it may be rehearsed or practiced along with recordings of the source orchestration.

      As might be expected for a transcription from this era, much of the material is scale and arpeggio based, making it technically accessible for intermediate players. However, very few dynamic indications are supplied, and the arranger recommends studying orchestral recordings for phrasing considerations, making the musical interpretation a more significant challenge.

      The movements chosen seem particularly appropriate for this instrumentation, but still vary enough to serve as contrasting selections in a balanced suite. Through his selection of these movements and effective transcription, Thomas Aanonlie has assembled a collection representative of Vivaldi’s historical works in a manner most idiomatic for this instrumentation. 

      —Josh Gottry

  • Credits +
    • Front Cover graphics and layout: Ronni Kot Wenzell
      Translation: Maria Susanne Svenfelt
      Engraving: Johan Svitzer
      Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
      Copyright © Edition SVITZER