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Virtual Performances

Vivaldi’s Musical Sound Effects

March 15, 2021

Five cartoon-style icons show chattering teeth, a hunting horn, a dog barking, a stream, and a lightning bolt—effects that can be heard in Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

Thunderstorms, dogs barking, and murmuring streams—Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons is brimming with musical sound effects. In fact, Vivaldi scribbled the sound effects right into the margins of his original score!

We've pulled out the audio clips of nature sounds in Vivaldi’s work in preparation for your full listening experience on TSO On Demand from March 26 to April 15.


Woof, woof! Can you hear the low dog barking underneath the delicate strings in “Spring”?

 

Brrrrr! Vivaldi intended these frantic strings to represent “teeth chattering in the extreme cold”:

 

Swirling, circling melodies convey a “murmuring stream”:

 

Picture yourself galloping through the countryside on horseback—this scene depicts a rowdy hunt in “Autumn”:

 

A dramatic scene of thunder and lightning is portrayed by rumbling low strings and piercing melodies:

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