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Composers Datebook®

with host John Birge

Tuesday, December 22

Lully and Vivaldi greet the season

Synopsis

Whether you live in sunny California or snowy Minnesota, the arrival of the solstice means “It’s official: winter is here!” And if you were born someplace sunny, but moved to someplace snowy, the arrival of winter is pretty hard to ignore.

Winter must have made an impression on the transplanted Italian composer Jean-Baptiste Lully, who was born in Florence but settled in Paris and ended up as the court composer for King Louis XIV.

One of Lully’s operas, “Isis,” had its premiere in the winter of 1676, and contains a chorus of ‘Trembleurs,” or “Trembling People from the Frozen Climes,” whose teeth chatter in slurred tremolos. This chorus became particular famous for the wintry pantomime ballet that accompanied it, as well as for its evocative music.

Of course, the most famous of all Baroque “Winter” music was also served up by another Italian, Antonio Vivaldi, who was born in Venice but traveled widely in Northern Europe as well and died in Vienna.

Vivaldi’s “Winter” Violin concerto from “The Four Seasons” includes its own musical shivers, not to mention a musical depiction of slipping and sliding on icy streets.

Music Played in Today's Program

Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632 – 1687) Isis Philippe Caillard Chorale and Orchestra Erato 20983

Antonio Vivaldi (1678 – 1741) Winter, fr The Four Seasons Enrico Onofrio, violin; Il Giardino Armonico Teldec 97671

Additional Information

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