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Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’ reworked to ‘make climate change audible’

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A classical orchestra in Germany aims to “make climate change audible” with a reworking of Antonio Vivaldi’s famous violin concertos “The Four Seasons” using algorithms based on climate data.

The project reimagining one of the most widely recognized classical works is entitled “For Seasons” and will be performed in Hamburg on Saturday.

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A collaboration between musicians, artists and software developers, the composition has been described by its creators as “disharmonic” and “uncomfortable”.

“The piece makes the facts of climate change obvious: the climate and our seasons have grown unbalanced,” the organisers said on the project website.

Using data relating to species extinctions, rises in global temperatures and extreme weather events, the composers claim to have developed algorithms which can “influence the notes on the original sheet”.

Changes to Vivaldi’s original score from 1725 include a blurring of the lines between spring and summer and the removal of notes which represent birdsong.

The new work will be premiered by the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie’s resident orchestra.

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“Almost everybody in the room will recognize the original, but then quickly think: ‘Hang on, this sounds different, somehow disturbing’,” said Yuri Christiansen, the orchestra’s solo cellist.

Tickets for the performance at Hamburg’s modern, waterside concert hall will be free of charge, and the event will also be streamed by regional public broadcaster NDR.


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