Vivaldi in the GardenBy Benjamin Hill (BennysPlace)
April 25, 2012
(Editor's Note: This article was originally published on March 4, 2009. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to promptly respond to new questions or comments.)
Springtime is upon us.
The birds celebrate her return with festive song,
and murmuring streams are softly caressed by the breezes.
Thunderstorms, those heralds of spring, roar, casting their dark mantle over heaven,
Then they die away to silence, and the birds take up their charming songs once more.
On the flower-strewn meadow, with leafy branches rustling overhead, the goat-herd sleeps, his faithful dog beside him.
Led by the festive sound of rustic bagpipes, nymphs and shepherds lightly dance beneath the brilliant canopy of spring.
These are the words to the sonnet that coincides with the first of four concertos -- "La primavera" (Spring) that make up Vivaldi's Four Seasons. It is probably one of the most recognized classical pieces of all time. When this masterpiece is pouring out of my speakers I am immediately uplifted and thoughts turn to the absolute splendor of the garden in spring.
Note: The following portion of this article was written while this beautiful concerto was playing in the background. To gain the full experience of this section, I recommend clicking here and playing this heavenly music as you read.
SPRING! The warm weather is returning and along with it is God's paintbrush bringing a medley of color to the landscape. Winter has loosened her grasp and is making way for this season of renewal and rebirth. I believe that nearly every gardener in the world looks forward to spring more than any other season. It is exciting and one cannot help but feel lifted in mind body and spirit.
Celebrate the crocuses as they emerge in their pinks, purples, yellows and whites. They are among the first to arrive and their show sets the stage for the glory of what is to come. Gaze upon the small green buds forming on the trees. The leaves will soon emerge and the unmistakable bright green will illuminate all of the corners of all the streets and the depths of the woods.
Embrace the magic of the wooded bluebell forest and become enraptured by the flood of blue there to provide the eyes with a feast of delicate simplicity. Marvel at the blossom for it is everywhere! The magnolias shower their petals upon your head and the pinks of the crab apple trees are as sumptuous as cotton candy at a carnival. Do not forget the cherry trees! Their pink blossoms provide the perfect adornment for many parks across the lands.
Ponder among the grass, pick some and hold it to your nose. This is life at its finest. Allow yourself to drift away to the memories of your youth. Skip about and rejoice in this amazing transition of life. For today, within the clutches of spring you can feel truly alive.
Today, I celebrate all of this and more as I pay homage to one of the greatest composers of our time. Born today in 1678, Antonio Vivaldi has forever provided us with the most amazing theme to the most glorious of seasons in our garden -- spring.
All images are from Wikimedia Commons.