2013-14 – string quartet – 4 movements – 17:30
Album: From Oblivion to Hope
Date: March 31, 2023
Musician(s): Odin Quartet – Alex Toskov (violin), Tanya Charles Iveniuk (violin), Matt Antal (viola), Samuel Bisson (cello)
Producer: Frank Horvat & Alex Toskov
Location: Canterbury Music, Toronto
Label: I Am Who I Am Records
The Four Seasons…in High Park…contains many literal quotes but its strength lies in dismantling the original ideas into building blocks of unique compositional language. – Ivana Popovic, WholeNote Magazine
As often performed as it is, I never tire of listening to Vivaldi’s The 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. As a Torontonian, I am equally captivated by the beauty and natural qualities of High Park.
In recognition of these two greats, I composed a string quartet that combines them. At times, I have chosen to have my musical material blatantly quote Vivaldi’s original and other times, it’s quite subtle and subliminal. Each movement aims to encapsulate a scene from each season in High Park in the same spirit of Vivaldi’s original homage to nature and all the joy it can bring us.
I. Spring: everything coming back to life.
II. Summer: heat, humidity, languid movement, sound of cicadas.
III. Fall: wind through the trees, blowing of the leaves. The musical themes transition gradually, so the end is entirely different than where 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 snow on vast empty fields and the pond.
– Frank Horvat