There are few things I hate quite as much as television commercials that use music that I like to sell their pathetic products. And that is especially true of Summer of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, because I don’t much like anyone enjoying that because I think people like it for all the wrong reasons. So I’m kind of annoyed to be hearing a commercial for something using the third movement of that piece. It is thrilling — far more so than whatever it is that is being sold.
One thing that I always liked about Vivaldi as a player is that his stuff wasn’t hard — but it sounded like it was. Most composers are the opposite: they write stuff that sounds easy and is really hard. But in the following performance of the presto from Summer, Mari Samuelsen makes it look and sound easy, even as she flies all over the fingerboard.