The winter tango starts at 19:48
(Astor Piazzolla y su Quinteto)
There’s no Vivaldi quoted in Piazzolla’s work, but in the late 1990s, a new arrangement of the bandoneón ensemble pieces were made by Russian composer Leonid Desyatnikov. Following Vivaldi’s model of the works as violin concerts, Desyatnikov arranged the work for violin solo and string orchestra and inserted bits of Vivaldi into Piazzolla. If you’re expected pure Piazzolla, it can be quite a surprise when a bit of the 17th century creeps in!
Piazzolla: Las 4 Estaciones Portenas (The 4 Seasons of Buenos Aires) II. Verano Porteno (Summer) (arr. L. Desyatnikov for violin and strings)
If you’re familiar with the Vivaldi original, you’ll hear a bit of Vivaldi creep in, such as
Piazzolla 01:29 = Vivaldi I: Allegro non molto 01:00 (the cold wind of winter)
Piazzola 06:30 = Vivaldi II. Largo (opening)
II. Largo (Lara St. John, – violin; Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela; Eduado Marturet, cond.)
Now, you will have noted that in Desyatnikov’s version, Piazzolla’s Winter quotes Vivaldi’s Summer. That would be, of course, because of the inversion of the seasons between the northern and southern hemispheres.
Other composers took up the idea of The Seasons and here are a sample of other winter sounds.
Tchaikovsky: Les Saisons, Op. 37b: XII. December: Christmas
Glazunov: The Seasons: IV. Winter: Ice (Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ondrej Lenard, – Cond.)
Cage: The Seasons: Winter. (Margaret Tan, piano)
And Haydn wrote an oratorio on the topic, opening his Winter section with an instrumental piece on the thick fog of the season.
Haydn: Die Jahreszeiten, Hob, XXI:3: Der Winter: Introduction: Die Einleitung schildert die dicken Nebel (Orchestre des Champs-Elysées, Herreweghe)
Such different views of winter covers the whole world: the cold winter of the northern hemisphere and the hot winter of the southern hemisphere. Today, it’s 1C (33F) in New York and 27C (81F) in Buenos Aires. Brrr and mmmmm all at once around the world!