Imitate: Nature In Music

By Catarina Wilk

Imagine. You are in the middle of a giant forest…all by yourself. You close your eyes and the only thing you can hear is the woods’ ‘voice‘. What can you hear? 
Birds singing jolly melodies? Creaking wood? Rustling leaves? A slight breeze?
 Having this in mind, one could almost say that the forest follows its own rhythm and plays its own beautiful melody.

Today, .Cent would like to take music pieces into account that all try to imitate nature’s diverse sounds in order to create an emotionally charged picture of the natural world.
Speaking of this, the world’s superb classical composers have found inspiration in various sounds of the natural world and have created a great amount of compositions over the last centuries.
Let us start with The Four Seasons by Italian classical composer Antonio Vivaldi. Published in 1725, Vivaldi’s best-known masterpiece consists of four varying violin compositions which mimic nature’s seasons Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter with the help of melodious violin sounds. Although solely concentrating on violins, each musical interpretation creates a very clear image of the season’s individual differences which makes it a fantastic listening pleasure for the listener. By varying speed, intensity, volume and key, nature’s four seasons become alive with all their individual characteristics.

Another great example of music that pays tribute to nature is November Woods by British composer and artist Arnold Bax. It is by far one of his greatest tone poems which opens with a rather “dramatic depiction of a stormy woodland landscape, followed by a much more peaceful vibe before the stormy opening mood returns towards the end”. Unquestionably, this music piece perfectly summarises the unpredictable November weather. Give it a listen!

As you can see (or in this case listen…), sometimes you just have to close your eyes, pay attention to your surrounding and let your artistic imagination run wild! That is exactly what Antonio Vivaldi and Arnold Bax did by creating their magnificent compositions that imitate nature’s treasures.