Reimagining Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons for Voices

To coincide with the tercentenary of the publication of Vivaldi’s evergreen, ever-popular ‘The Four Seasons’, the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM), a UK independent charity which enables the flourishing of church music, has commissioned a brand new, large-scale choral work from British composer and multi-faceted musician Joanna Forbes L’Estrange.

Joanna Forbes L’Estrange

Joanna Forbes L’Estrange

Antonio Vivaldi: The Four Seasons: Violin Concerto in F Major, Op. 8, No. 3, RV 293, “L’autunno” (Autumn) – I. Allegro (Fabio Biondi, violin/cond.; Galante Europa)

‘A Season To Sing’ is a 40-minute choral re-imagining of Vivaldi’s enduringly popular set of violin concertos, ‘The Four Seasons’. Scored for mixed voices and organ or piano, ‘A Season To Sing’ weaves texts from poetry and the Bible on the subject of spring, summer, autumn and winter into Vivaldi’s much-loved melodies. It will also include a new setting by Joanna Forbes L’Estrange of Ecclesiastes 3:2 – To everything there is a season. With its seasonal theme, ‘A Season To Sing’ can be performed at any time of the year, and is expected to become a firm favourite with choirs throughout the world.

Joanna Forbes L’Estrange has 25 years experience in contemporary vocal music as a singer, composer and choir director, including with The Swingles and Tenebrae. She writes tuneful, singable and varied choral music drawing inspiration from classical, soul, gospel and pop music, which “every choir can sing”, and last year wrote a special anthem for the RSCM to mark the Coronation of King Charles III. The piece was sung by some 500 choirs, vocal ensembles and singing groups around the world.

Joanna Forbes L’Estrange/Traditional: The Mountains Shall Bring Peace (London Voices; Andreana Chan, organ; Ben Parry, cond.)
Arcangelo Corelli: Concerto Grosso, Op. 6, No. 8, “Christmas Concerto” (arr. for vocal ensemble) (Swingle Singers)
Joanna Forbes L’Estrange: give Us Grace (London Voices; Ben Parry, cond.)

Joanna Forbes L’Estrange vs Antonio Vivaldi

Joanna Forbes L’Estrange vs Antonio Vivaldi

Joanna says, “The Four Seasons is the first piece of music I can remember hearing from my childhood. I used to dance around the sitting room to it! I thought a great way to mark its 300th anniversary would be to make it possible for choirs to perform it. Vivaldi’s tunes are so magnificent they deserve to be sung!…..All of my experiences singing in choirs have informed my composing but the most significant is my time singing in my local church choir.”

Her take on Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’ is exactly the kind of music which is instantly appealing to choirs large or small, professional or amateur.

But this is no ordinary commissioning project. The RSCM is inviting choirs to be part of this endeavour, giving them special access to exclusive perks in exchange for £300/$500 (or equivalent). Commissioning choirs will have the opportunity to perform the piece before its general publication, and also:

  • meet Joanna Forbes L’Estrange for a Q&A session via zoom
  • be listed in the vocal score as one of the commissioning choirs
  • receive a limited-edition, hardback bound copy of the vocal score, signed by the composer

This exciting opportunity is open to all choirs and to individual supporters. The deadline for registering is 1st August 2024.

To find out more, please visit

“my calling as a composer is to write the kind of music which choirs like the one I sang in as a child and choirs like it all over the world can sing and enjoy singing” (Joanna Forbes L’Estrange)

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Another reimagining of Vivaldi, by Max Richter:

Max Richter: The Four Seasons (after A. Vivaldi) – Spring 1 (Daniel Hope, violin; Max Richter, keyboards; Konzerthausorchester Berlin; André De Ridder, cond.)

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