Although the most popular four concertos from Il cimento dell’ armonia e dell’ inventione are familiar to all of us, some circumstances of their creation are still mysterious. In the original score each of the concertos is preceded by a poem describing one of the seasons, and we do not k ow whether Vivaldi penned the sonnets himself or rewrote poetry that he had found inspirational. We do know that one of his inspirations were idyllic landscapes of Marco Ricci depicting nature in various periods of the year.
We also know that Vivaldi included performance direction in his score, such as twittering birds, a barking shepherd, a cuckoo, an abrupt summer thunderstorm with hail, and swirling snowflakes. Natural phenomena and people’s and animals’ behaviour are reflected above all in the virtuosic part of the soloist, full of fantastic tone ideas.