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"The Seasons in Piano Music"
Pyotr Tchaikovsky was commissioned to write a cycle of piano miniatures entitled The Seasons by the publisher of Nouvelliste, a monthly that appeared in Saint Petersburg from 1840 until 1906. The periodical mainly featured piano music and songs. In a similar fashion to serial novels, which were very popular at the time, Nouvelliste planned to print one miniature for each month of 1876, announcing to its readers: “Their character would fully correspond with both the title of the piece and the impression made by the month in which each of the works would appear in the magazine.” The Seasons quickly became hugely popular; they appeared in many editions and arrangements, and some of the pieces have entered the repertoire of pianists’ favourite encores.
While Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s music referred more to the yearly cycle and to different tasks and jobs than to the individual months involved, the works of the Portuguese composer Eurico Carrapatoso (born in 1962), dubbed Quatro últimas estações de Lisboa, focused on portraying the different faces of the Portuguese capital during the four seasons – from winter to autumn.
On the other hand, Astor Piazzolla’s Las cuatro estaciones porteñas is devoid of allegories of the passing seasons and changing nature. Instead, the music takes us to Buenos Aires, where winter has a completely different aura than on the European continent. The individual who was largely responsible for popularising this cycle – originally conceived of as a set of classical tangos – was Gidon Kremer. Towards the end of the 1990s (and thus after the death of Piazzolla in 1992), this Latvian violinist came up with the brilliant idea of complementing Antonio Vivaldi’s famous violin concertos with Piazzolla’s arrangements of Argentinian tangos whose titles parallel those of The Four Seasons, thereby placing these Baroque concerti in a fresh context.
Cooperation: Embassy of the Republic of Portugal in Warsaw (honorary patronage)
Partner: Camões Institute
Sponsor of the Artist – Millennium Bank