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The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Holding on: a rant.

Vivaldi's Concerto No 1 in E Major, Op 8, RV 29 is a wonderful piece of music best known as Spring, the first of the four concerti called collectively The Four Seasons.

The music really is about Spring, as the sonnet (possibly written by Vivaldi himself) that goes with the music explains.

Here's the section that describes the first movement of Spring.

Giunt' la Primavera e festosetti

La Salutari gl' Augei con lieto canto,
E i fonti all Spirar de' Zeffiretti
Con dolce mormorio Scorrono intanto:
E Lampi e tuoni ad anuntiaria eletti
Indi tacendo questi, gl' Augelletti,
Toman' di nuovo ai lor canoro incanto

Springtime is upon us.

The birds celebrate her return with festive song,
and murmuring streams are
softly caressed by the breezes.
Thunderstorms, those heralds of Spring, roar,
casting their dark mantle over heaven,
Then they die away to silence,
and the birds take up their charming songs once more.

And does this mean that when I hear Spring I am filled with joy, excitement, hope, and (of course) respect for Vivaldi's dazzling genius?


Cruelly, the music is used by various British government phone lines as hold-in music.

And so what the merest snatch of Vivaldi's Spring instantly generates in me is actually deep resentment and, sadly, something rather close to despair.

Word To Use Today: Spring. The Old English form of this word was springan. Endearingly, it's the same word as the spiral boingy types of spring. Related words are the Sanskrit sprhavati, which means he desires, and the Old Slavonic pragu, which means grasshopper.

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