Spring is most definitely in the air, not to mention the eyes, the nose, the throat, etc., and it’s a season that has been celebrated by many artists over the years; maybe they didn’t get hayfever?

The portrayal of love : Botticelli’s Primavera and humanist culture at the time of Lorenzo the Magnificent by Charles Dempsey

Primavera

Primavera

One of the most famous of all allegorical depictions of Spring, Botticelli’s Primavera remains a hotly contested work as far as its many layers of meaning is concerned. Charles Dempsey examines the work in relation to the many popular love poems and songs of the time, placing it within the broader context of Renaissance culture and society.

Stravinsky and the Ballets Russes,  Mariinsky Theatre, conducted by Valery Gergiev

Bel Air Classiques, 2009

Bel Air Classiques, 2009

Stravinsky’s ballet  The Rite of Spring couldn’t be further removed from the idyllic, pastoral scene envisaged by Botticelli, and its famously controversial premiere in Paris in 1913 is still considered one of the most important cultural moments in musical and theatrical history. Nijinsky’s startling choreography is recreated in this performance, as far as possible, and allied to that phenomenal score you can see what all of the fuss was about!

Complete symphonies of Robert Schumann

Robert Schumann

Robert Schumann

Schumann’s First Symphony, known as the Spring Symphony, may or may not have the season as its inspiration, but it is such a joyful work that it doesn’t seem like such a long bow, and it certainly seemed to “spring” from him in a burst of creativity that even now takes one’s breath away!

Benjamin Britten (right) and Peter Pears

Benjamin Britten (right) and Peter Pears

Benjamin Britten’s Spring Symphony, written over 100 years after Schumann’s, is definitely inspired by the season and uses large orchestral, vocal and choral forces to celebrate the end of Winter and the “reawakening of the earth and life”.

 

Naxos Music Library

If you’re a registered user of the Library you can log onto the fabulous Naxos database from home and explore these, and many other, musical works. 

 

 

A touch of Spring from our Picture Collection

Spring Street, William Thomas Smedley

Spring Street, William Thomas Smedley

 

 

 

 

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