Antonio Vivaldi was a pioneer when it came to composing “programme music” which tells the story of something outside itself. In The Four Seasons (1725), he mainly interprets impressions from nature. Each season is closely linked to their own sonnet which may have been written by the composer himself, and the sonnets are brought to life by various musical effects; spring birdsong, dogs barking in the viola part, mild breezes, summer thunder, and so on.
The Four Seasons has inspired a number of composers, among them Marie Samuelsson, who has recently composed The Five Seasons. Samuelsson’s piece is a fateful counterpart to Vivaldi’s baroque music. It has also been composed at a time when the Earth’s seasons are increasingly being disturbed. Samuelsson has not only been inspired by the proud and happy Vivaldi, but also by today’s impressions of nature, increasingly characterised by downpours and heatwaves. She also offers an elegiac and suggestive comment to the more innocent and untouched depictions of nature found in The Four Seasons.