Antonio Vivaldi’s Group of Concerts The Four Seasons: From Baroque Synthesis of Arts to New 20th-Century Forms of Artistic Synthesis…

Aleksandra A. Gorshchuk


The article examines Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons concerts from the perspective of baroque culture. We believe that baroque culture reflects the key general cultural trends characteristic of this era, in particular, such issues as time and the synthesis of arts. These trends manifest themselves in The Four Seasons. The topic of changing seasons is generally very interesting in terms of its choreographic production.

The article discusses two choreographic productions based on the music from Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons: the ballet by Roland Petit (captured on video in 1984) and the screen ballet by James Kudelka (2003).

Petit's concept evolves around the idea of eternal repetition. He focuses on the general and the objective, which is in line with the artistic principles of ne- oclassicism. This becomes manifest in the objectivity of statements and the preference for crowd scenes. The representation of concerts is suite-based with no continuous development between them. Petit's concept tends towards the epic genus. The ballet is not devoid of certain symmetry due to the repetition of two parts of the concert Spring after the end of Winter. Thus, Petit’s produc- tion views time as cyclical, while the correlation between music and choreog- raphy indicates a parallelism of texts rather than their synthesis.

The ballet by J. Kudelka is the drama of an individual human life. Here, the artistic time resembles a vector, it is irreversible, which is typical of drama. This is achieved by the acceleration of movement towards the end of the pro- duction with the pantomime gradually replacing the dance. The title The Four Seasons allows two possible interpretations and in Kudelka’s case the allegori- cal one comes to the fore. His concept is the life course of a person from birth to death. The ballet does not reveal a parallelism between music and dance, on the opposite, it is a synthesis of texts, an intertext.

Keywords: Vivaldi, ballet, Roland Petit, James Kudelka, choreography, neo-baroque, neoclassicism

For citation: Gorshchuk A. A. Antonio Vivaldi’s Group of Concerts The Four Seasons: From Baroque Synthesis of Arts to New 20th-Century Forms of Artistic Synthesis [Electronic source]. In: Sovremennye problemy muzykoznaniya / Contemporary Musicology, 2021, no. 4, pp. 109–125. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.56620/2587-9731-2021-4-109-125





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