Charismatic conductor Morihiko Nakahara leads the world-class performers of the SC Phil in a rousing performance of Vivaldi’s eternal classic, The Four Seasons. Guests will also be treated to its tango-infused counterpart, The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, by Astor Piazzolla/Leonid Desyatnikov.
“These pieces are the tribute of two 20th-century men — the Argentinean Astor Piazzolla and the Russian Leonid Desyatnikov — to an 18th-century Venetian master, Antonio Vivaldi.
From his teens, Piazzolla was a formidable bandoneon player and a fine leader of a tango band. But he stalled for years as a composer, trying to write what he thought he should rather than what came naturally. It took the legendary teacher Nadia Boulanger to put him right. After pointing out that most of his “classical” music sounded like other composers’ work, she encouraged him to look instead to tango for inspiration. From then on, memorable works flowed.
The first of The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires was written in 1965. The title inescapably brings Vivaldi’s Four Seasons to mind, but there the tribute ends, at least in Piazzolla’s original version. His are single-movement works, while Vivaldi’s all have three. Vivaldi revels in music that evokes specific pictures (dogs barking, storms, drunken peasants, birds); not so Piazzolla. The solo violin is critical to Vivaldi; Piazzolla did not call for one. Then, in the 1990s, along came Desyatnikov.” (Excerpt courtesy of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra)
The big sound of the South Carolina Philharmonic is a rare treat in such an intimate venue as the 400-seat Harbison Theatre. Witnessing a live performance of Vivaldi’s infamous, effervescent opus, The Four Seasons, is exhilarating; cross this classical must-hear off of your musical bucket list.