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Vivaldi's Four Seasons    by Anna Harwell Celenza & JoAnn Kitchel order for
Vivaldi's Four Seasons
by Anna Harwell Celenza
Order:  USA  Can
Charlesbridge, 2012 (2012)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

This charming picture book tells the story of how Antonio Vivaldi, best known for his operas and signature concerto called The Four Seasons, came to compose the famous musical piece.

Vivaldi apparently was the violin master at the Pio Ospedale della Pieta (Devout Hospital of Mercy), an orphanage for abandoned children in Venice, in the 1700s. In 1723 he contracted to send the orphanage two concertos each month and in just six years he supposedly supplied the institution with over 140 musical compositions.

In this story the reader discovers that the children gave weekly concerts and made up one of the finest orchestras in Italy. For a while Vivaldi was their music instructor, but then he left the orphanage only to return at a later time.

Although the narrative is primarily about the children and Vivaldi, the book does come with a CD of his famous baroque masterpiece, The Four Seasons. A splendid way to introduce a child to classical music and a famous composer, this story stresses the importance of friendship and imagination plus the transformative power of music.

After reading the book, the child and his or her entire family can enjoy the CD for years to come. This is an excellent way of starting a classical music collection for a young person.

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