A bunch of leaves

Seeing that fall has begun recently (or as some like to call it: Autumn), the weather has changed for those who live in places with an actual four seasons. As the weather changes and the days get rainier and colder, your music playlist may also change, along with an increased consumption of pumpkin spice lattes. Here’s something to add to that playlist while you enjoy everything with pumpkin spice in a comfy chair: Autumn from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

Each of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons tells stories of the events of the season. There are sonnets to go along with each of the seasons (written from the perspective of the Baroque period), which either inspired the pieces or were written for the pieces, no one knows. This is the one for Autumn:

Vivaldi caught by a painter in the middle of a jam session    

The peasant celebrates with song and dance the harvest safely gathered in

The cup of Bacchus flows freely, and many find their relief in deep slumber.
The singing and the dancing die away
As cooling breezes fan the pleasant air
Inviting all to sleep
Without a care.
The hunters emerge at dawn
Ready for the chase,
With horns and dogs and cries
Their quarry flees while they give chase.
Terrified and wounded, the prey struggles on,
But, harried, dies.

   The first verse is a celebration/party that ensues when the harvest is brought in (who doesn’t love food?), with consumption of food and wine (Bacchus is the god of the grape harvest and all things wine, who is also known as Dionysus in Greek mythology). But after that party everyone needs to sleep (second verse) to get ready for the successful hunt in verse 3 (hunters get up early).

You will notice there are no pumpkin spice lattes in this sonnet. What is a sonnet about fall without pumpkin spice lattes? The first verse could include some consumption of pumpkins as they gather the harvest, but sadly Vivaldi did not fully grasp the concept of consuming everything with pumpkin spice in the fall. You can enjoy the pumpkin spice treat of your choice as you listen.

In the score, you will find lines from the sonnets to indicate what the music is portraying. I went through the score to match up the score markings to when they appear in the performance:

00:06- The peasant celebrates with song and dance the harvest safely gathered in
1:02- The cup of Bacchus flows freely
3:10- And many find their relief in deep slumber.
4:48- The singing and the dancing die away
As cooling breezes fan the pleasant air
Inviting all to sleep
Without a care
7:13- The hunters emerge at dawn ready for the chase
With horns and dogs and cries
8:32- Their quarry flees while they give chase
8:38- Terrified and wounded, the prey struggles on
9:26- But harried, dies.

Moll

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