The Four Seasons…in High Park

2013-14 – string quartet – 17:30

Sheet Music

Score (pdf)
Movement 1 (pdfs): Violin I, Violin II, Viola, Cello
Movement 2 (pdfs): Violin I, Violin II, Viola, Cello
Movement 3 (pdfs): Violin I, Violin II, Viola, Cello
Movement 4 (pdfs): Violin I, Violin II, Viola, Cello

  1. The Four Seasons...in High Park, Movement 1 - Spring (midi demo) 4:46
  2. The Four Seasons...in High Park, Movement 2 - Summer (midi demo) 5:24
  3. The Four Seasons...in High Park, Movement 3 - Fall (midi demo) 6:48
  4. The Four Seasons...in High Park, Movement 4 - Winter (midi demo) 4:34

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Programme Notes

As often-ley performed as it is, I never get tired of listening to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. The intensity and rhythmic nature of the string playing, the programmatic elements and the beautiful melodic moments make it one of the great musical works in western music history and a personal favourite of mine.

As a Torontonian, I’m equally as captivated by the beauty and natural qualities of High Park.  With a cornucopia of features and characters, the park encapsulates everything that is good about living in Toronto.

So in recognition of these two greats, I composed a string quartet that combines the two!  At times, I have chosen to have my musical material blatantly quote Vivaldi’s original and other times, it’s quite subtle and subliminal. Either way, each of the 4 movements aims to encapsulate the scene one might see in each of the 4 seasons very much in the same spirit of Vivaldi’s original homage to nature and all the joy it can bring us.

4 Movements:

I. Spring: marathon, athletic activities, motivating, what you might listen to in your iPod while jogging through the park to pump yourself up.
II. Summer: heat, humidity, languid movement, calm and relaxing, sound of the cicadas.
III. Fall: wind through the trees, blowing of the leaves. A very gradual transition of musical themes so the end is completely different than when it started. This symbolizes how the landscape and its usage can change so quickly from the beginning to end of the fall. Quote of “Maple Leaf Forever” is in recognition of 19th Century Toronto, the time period when the park was opened.
IV. Winter: chilling tranquility, blinding brightness and beauty of the snow on the vast empty fields and the pond.

– Frank Horvat

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