James Bennett II is a staff writer for WQXR.
Watch: A Frigid Accordion Performance of Vivaldi's 'Winter'
Friday, January 20, 2017 - 10:37 AM
Antonio Vivaldi's The Four Seasons is what you play when you're in the mood for music that captures peak spring/summer/autumn/winter. You might already have a favorite recording or arrangement, but be ready to welcome a new one from Czech accordionist Milan Řehák. He recently shared a new video performance of the first movement of "Winter," complete with the appropriate snowy scenery.
Each of the four concertos in The Four Seasons contain an accompanying poem that explains what mood Vivaldi is evoking with his music. In "Winter," we listen for shivering bodies and chattering teeth, as well as pounding footsteps rushing to someplace warm. Řehák's accordion relays the message nicely, although we hope his fingers didn't get too cold providing us with some good music.
The young accordionist first started playing violin at the age of 6. He has won several international competitions and currently studies at Stockholm's Royal College of Music. According to his bio, he studies contemporary composers. He also incorporates baroque music and virtuoso transcriptions into his repertoire, demonstrated in his performances of pieces from the likes of Brahms and Paganini.