The Four Seasons in flux: Interpreting Nigel Kennedy through a hybrid biography

Paul Munden, Anouska Zummo

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Vivaldi’s concertos commonly referred to as The Four Seasons have played a key part in the career of British violinist Nigel Kennedy. Paul Munden has followed many of Kennedy’s projects and performances, and is writing a book that is part biography, part critical study, musing on the nature of individual talent and its unorthodox tendencies, and with the prose chapters linked by poetic transitoires – Kennedy’s own term for the newly composed sections that link the movements of his New Four Seasons recording. The concept underlying the book is that a maverick subject needs a maverick literary form to do it justice. At the heart of the project is a new translation of the Italian sonnets, often attributed to Vivaldi himself, which are written in the original Four Seasons score, making clear the music’s programmatic intent. The new translations, which this paper presents, take that intersemiotic origin as their cue, their interpretation refracted through the music – specifically as reconceived in Kennedy’s latest performances, with a wilfully contemporary idiom brought into play.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalTEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses
Issue number51
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


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