Julie Rafalski

Four Seasons and a Staircase

This post begins with another man named Richter- composer Max Richter, who wrote a piece called Recomposed. This piece reconfigures Vivaldi's Four Seasons in such a way that it is still recognisable but at the same time a very different piece. (You can hear a fragment here ).

To me, it seems that this piece makes the original (Vivaldi's Four Seasons) be seen in a different light. Though the piece has been re-imagined, it still maintains it's identity as Vivaldi's Four Seasons. It reminds me of one piece of Monika Sosnowska's which consists of a spiral staircase, one of the many that were found in Poland during the communist time in public buildings or state-funded housing blocks. She has twisted it to look as if it had gone through a tornado. It is still the same staircase but it is a mangled staircase, one that has perhaps been emotionally battered, or has undergone some hardship. It seems to suggest an invisible force that has twisted it and leaves us wondering what that force could have been.

In Richter's piece too, it seems that there was an invisible force that has caused all these shifts and changes in the Four Seasons. It makes me wonder if perhaps this is how it would sound through a satellite transmission from another planet. Or perhaps this is how plants would hear Vivaldi's music.

This invisible force - perhaps is the voice of the piece itself- perhaps it has had enough of living in its own skin and has become tired of constantly being performed identically every time by orchestras around the world throughout the centuries. Perhaps it wants to act a little differently now, let loose a bit more, dance and twist and shout.