“Four Seasons” By Vivaldi: Concert Analysis Writing Sample

Introduction

Four Seasons by Vivaldi is one of the most famous compositions written for the violin, which is filled with various melodies and moods. On this recording of the concert, an orchestra consisting of 15 violins, 4 cellos, and piano masterfully performs Vivaldi’s symphony. Janine Jansen is a leading violin, and her beautiful play reflects all the shades and emotions that the author put into his music. The musicians are on a small stage and wear elegant black clothes, which adds some chamberness, although the concert hall and the audience are quite large. However, it is most important that Vivaldi’s symphony is filled with smooth transitions, unexpected accents, and drama, and the excellent performance of the musicians makes the audience feel every melody and listen to it again and again.

Main body

The symphony consists of 12 movements, which are divided evenly into four seasons, the mood of which the author wanted to convey. The First Concerto consists of the first movement in a fast tempo, a second slow, and a third fast again, reflecting the changing mood of spring. In the first movement, one can hear the main theme repeating the orchestra after each solo, which adds fullness and completeness to the melody. In addition, the contrasts of the solo and the repeated main theme make it possible to hear different manifestations of spring nature: birds singing, a breath of wind, the murmur of a stream. The dynamics of movements also change, so in the first and third movements, musicians mainly use forte to show the liveliness of the awakening nature, and the second movement sounds in piano by demonstrating the still sleepy mood of spring.

The Second Concerto was written to convey the mood of summer with its vibrant and contrasting days. It also consists of three movements that display different stories. The first movement is filled with a combination of melodies with various tempo and timbre, which displays the sounds of birds. The final contrasting phrase sounds like a summer storm that suddenly broke out on a summer day. This feeling creates a fast pace, a vibrating melody, as well as a unison of sounds that are simultaneously picked up by the entire orchestra. The second movement is also filled with contrasts in dynamics and texture. The movement begins with a slow Adagio and then turns into a fast Presto, while the solo of violin in piano transit in fortissimo in the final phrase, since the whole orchestra creates the melody. In the third part, the viewer can also hear the use of a monophonic texture and its contrast with a polyphonic texture, and although it does not sound long, it is expressive.

In the Third Concerto, which depicts autumn, the tempo, as well as in parts of spring, changes from fast to slow and again to fast. The first movement reflects the joy of a still warm spring and harvest festival; hence, a listener can hear a fast rhythm in the theme performed by the orchestra and solo violin. At the end of the movement, a gradual deceleration and “fading” of the melody are also heard, which prepares the listener for the next part. Joy and warmth are replaced by cold, sleepy, and dull autumn, which is reflected in the change of dynamics and tempo, which becomes slow and quiet. The third movement again fills with contrast and sensual melody, since it should reflect the joy and excitement. In this movement, the listener can note an excellent example of harmonic sequences that repeat throughout the entire part. “Autumn” will end with a calm but solemn phrase, which marks the end of a successful season.

The Winter Concerto is one of the richest parts of the symphony. Firstly, this part uses several Ritornello, that is, repetitions of theme that are used in music in Barroco. These harmonic sequences allow musicians to show the cold, boredom, and harshness of winter, but at the same time keep the melody dynamic. In addition, the themes in movements combine different rhythms that replace each other and make them sharper. However, winter also has pleasant moments, which sounds in the second movement, which more smoothly and elegantly conveys the mood of nice winter days. Although in the same movement, there are sharp changes in rhythm, timbre, and tempo, which sound against a smooth melody contrastly. This combination and repetition and contrasting elements create and convey the exact atmosphere of an unstable and varied winter mood.

Conclusion

I think this concert was amazing and I would like to be in that concert hall. Vivaldi’s symphony is lively, emotional, and diverse, so for all 45 minutes, I was interested in listening to it. The performers, especially the first violin, also professionally and enthusiastically completed their work by creating an atmosphere and filling the audience with emotions. I believe that such concerts can and should instill the love of a wide audience for classical music, since it cannot leave anyone indifferent. I was also fascinated by the expression on the faces of the musicians when they play their instruments as their emotions convey the mood of the music to the hall and fill it with depth. I believe that the audience also appreciated this feature as highly as a symphony and its professional performance because the orchestra received a loud ovation. In addition, the enthusiasm of the audience prompted the musicians to repeat the excerpt from “Summer,” which is also a pleasant moment for me. I would love to attend the concert of this orchestra again and also listen to the Four Seasons performed by other musicians.

Essay Voice-over

Shelley’s “Frankenstein”: Analysis Of Frankenstein’s Character

The story about Frankenstein and his monster raises many questions. One of these questions is still unanswered. For example, people cannot decide what is more important in making a person, nature or nurture. The monster people were afraid of felt the beauty of the world with its “cheering warmth” and “the rustling of the leaves,” but he ended up killing and causing sorrow (Shelley, 2018, p. 215) The study about the creature of a talented but irresponsible scientist shows that nurture is central to the process of personality development.

Philosophers, scientists, and average individuals tried to understand whether the environment is more important than some traits and physical features a person has. Some say that genetic codes make a person whose character and behavior depend on biological things. Others believe that the environment is more important as it influences the way some traits develop and other features are never displayed. Shelley provides her own answer, which is close to the truth. Frankenstein creates a being that looks ugly and frightening, but who wants to be happy (Vargo, 2016). However, this creature does not find a friend or anyone who could support him and guide him in this difficult world. Shelley created a Romantic character who was all alone and beautiful inside, but this beauty went unnoticed and went destroyed. Old and blind DeLacey was the only person who tried to help the creature and make him less wretched (Haggerty, 2016). However, this was not enough, and when the creature decided to go back to his creator in his search for compassion and support, he understood that the world was hostile to him. The creature was lost and did not know what to do, which led to several deaths. Hence, the environment is more important than some biological features as people’s character, and behavior is formed by society.

References

Haggerty, G. F. (2016). What is queer about Frankenstein? In A. Smith (Ed.), The Cambridge companion to Frankenstein’ (pp. 116-127). Cambridge University Press.

Shelley, M. (2018). Frankenstein: The 1818 text. Penguin.

Vargo, L. (2016). Contextualizing sources. In A. Smith (Ed.), The Cambridge companion to Frankenstein’ (pp. 26-40). Cambridge University Press.

Criminology: The Social Control Theory

Most criminologists used to take conformity, or compliance with social rules, for granted deeming it as a natural part of what it is like to be a human. As shown by Freud, there is always a certain tension between the needs of an individual and the needs of society. Though belonging to different schools of thought, Freud, Skinner, and Piaget concur that children learn social rules through exchanges with authority figures and interactions with peers (Lilly et al., 2018). Complying with them also increases their chances of survival because this way, they are able to fit in the group. A later theory, the theory of social control, draws on their research and suggests that conformity stems from strong social bonds and integration into society.

Hirschi, a well-known social control theorist, puts forward the idea that people who commit crimes are not much different from those who do not. Rationally, any person is capable of seeing the risks and benefits of a criminal offense. What serves as a predisposition for nonconformity is the social context characterized by ineffectual social controls (Lilly et al., 2018). Therefore, a person can seize the opportunity to break the law if benefits outweigh risks. For criminologists, the social control theory means that an effective approach to reducing crime might be to change not individuals but their social contexts.

The question arises as to who decides what is moral or not in human society. Today, there are theistic and evolutionary theories of how morals and ethics have been formed (Film Media Group, 2002). Krebs (2011) opines that the origins of morality can be traced back to primitive human societies of hunters and gatherers. The first humans soon realized that cooperation was needed for survival while misbehavior and transgression jeopardized the survivability of the entire group. Today, moral norms originate from and are maintained by society.

In his social bonds theory, Hirschi assumes that humans are naturally drawn to delinquent behaviors. However, there are four kinds of bonds that can serve as protective factors against misbehavior. By social bonds, the scholar understands the elements of social cohesion that help individuals with social integration. Below is the list of social bonds developed by Hirschi:

  1. attachment refers to the strengths of bonds that exist in an individual’s social environment. For adolescents, the most important bonds are those with parents, though others play a significant role as well;
  2. commitment signifies how much a person is dedicated to pursuing conventional goals. It is implied that the more a person invested in their pursuit, the more he or she has to lose;
  3. involvement means that if an individual is engaged in conventional activities, he or she will have less time for delinquent ones;
  4. belief describes the degree to which an individual has faith in the validity of social norms and conventions (Hirschi, 1998).

If a person already shows strong delinquent leanings, he or she might still be able to benefit from strengthened social bonds. It is better to analyze such situations on a case-to-case basis to determine individual protective factors present in a person’s life. In case a person’s family is alive, its members could be encouraged to get involved and provide moral support. A person might have hobbies or interests, which may be the key to engaging them in conventional activities. There, they can find peer support as well as learn valuable skills.

References

Films Media Group. (2002). Morality: Judgments and action. Films On Demand. Web.

Hirschi, T. (1998). Social bond theory. Criminological theory: Past to present. Los Angeles: Roxbury.

Krebs, D. (2011). The origins of morality: An evolutionary account. Oxford University Press.

Lilly, J. R., Cullen, F. T., & Ball, R. A. (2018). Criminological theory: Context and consequences. Sage Publications.

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