Listen with Father: How I Learned to Love Classical Music

By Caroline Sanderson

A resonant memoir of a beloved father, evoked through the classical music he cherished.

Monday, 21 March 2022

#ListenWithCaroline: Antonio Vivaldi: La Tempesta di Mare

What more appropriate signature tune could there be for the vernal equinox and this sunny weather than La Primavera (Spring) from the Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi, with all its uplifting zing. And yet listening to this glorious and oh so familiar piece made me realise that beyond his famous Four Seasons concertos, I didn’t know any other music by Vivaldi. 

Since writing “Listen With Father” I have tried to be more adventurous in my listening. For whilst I took both pleasure and consolation in playing recordings of classical music that I knew my Dad had loved, writing the book also helped me move beyond his CD collection, and strike out on a listening journey that was – and is - all my own.

Dad’s favourite Robert Schumann pieces led me to pieces by Clara Schumann which are now favourites of mine.  His CD of Chopin’s Études initiated a search for other Polish composers, and that led to a lockdown obsession with the music of Hania Rani. Kathleen Ferrier’s recording of “Blow the Wind Southerly” set me on a course towards Mahler, and a voyage into his music that is still going on.

And thanks to a chance hearing on BBC Radio 3, I now know and love another piece by Vivaldi - one of the most exuberant orchestral pieces I have ever heard. His La Tempesta di Mare is the opening Presto movement of his Violin Concerto, Op. 8 No. 5 in E flat major (RV 253), and in the headlong version I heard on the radio, featured Moldova born soloist Patricia Kopatchinskaja. It is music to put spring into your step and more besides.

Your support of “Listen With Father” is so appreciated. Please do share links to the book with anyone who you might enjoy it too.

Sending you spring flowers

Love from Caroline x






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