BBC Music Magazine

The Violinist’s View Daniel Hope on Spring


Whether or not Vivaldi himself wrote them, I’m fascinated by the sonnets that precede each of The Four Seasons. Spring is this announceme­nt that the new season is upon us, as the birds and all kinds of nature join in this huge celebratio­n. For me, performing it is all about correlatin­g all the images that you have in your mind with the technical challenges that Vivaldi gives you. There’s so much going on – from the sleeping goatherd with the dog barking to the bagpipes and dancing nymphs – and it’s all a bit of a raucous romp. The danger is that you come crashing too fast out of the starting gate. It’s all about pacing yourself and trying to keep a level head. Spring is the Season that had the biggest effect on me as a child, because of those trills that are so suggestive of birdsong. I remember hearing Yehudi Menuhin playing it, and it really stayed with me.

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