The Four Seasons: A Novel of Vivaldi's Venice

( 7 )

Overview

In glittering 18th-century Venice, music and love are prized above all else—and for two sisters coming of age, the city's passions blend in intoxicating ways.

Chiaretta and Maddalena are as different as night and day. The two sisters were abandoned as babies on the steps of the Ospedale della Pietß, Venice's world-famous foundling hospital and musical academy. High-spirited and rebellious, Chiaretta marries into a great aristocratic Venetian family and eventually becomes one of ...

See more details below
Paperback
$11.96
BN.com price
(Save 20%)$14.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (69) from $1.99   
  • New (14) from $1.99   
  • Used (55) from $1.99   

Overview

In glittering 18th-century Venice, music and love are prized above all else—and for two sisters coming of age, the city's passions blend in intoxicating ways.

Chiaretta and Maddalena are as different as night and day. The two sisters were abandoned as babies on the steps of the Ospedale della Pietß, Venice's world-famous foundling hospital and musical academy. High-spirited and rebellious, Chiaretta marries into a great aristocratic Venetian family and eventually becomes one of the most powerful women in Venice. Maddalena becomes a violin virtuoso and Antonio Vivaldi's muse. The Four Seasons is a rich, literary imagination of the world of 18th-century Venice and the lives and loves of two extraordinary women.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Lauren Willig
"Corona's The Four Seasons is historical fiction as it is meant to be written--a gripping exploration of the twisting byways of both 18th century Venice and the human heart. Pop Vivaldi's masterpiece into the CD player, brew a pot of tea, and prepare to relinquish the rest of your afternoon. Corona brings Venice and Vivaldi to life, delivering a stirring story of love, ambition, and music that will keep you reading long after the last note of the concerto has ended."
Karen Harper
"Laurel Corona's The Four Seasons is a poignant tale of two sisters layered exquisitely over the exotic world of brilliant priest/composer Vivaldi and his 18th century Venice. The result: a vibrant crescendo of hearts and history."
Sally Gunning
"I've never been to Venice, played a violin, or for that matter carried a tune, but after reading The Four Seasons I feel that I've experienced all three, and through them come to a better understanding of the many forms love takes. Brava, Laurel Corona."
Susanne Dunlap
"Corona does a magnificent job of showing us the violent contradictions of life in 18th-century Venice, through the eyes of two musically gifted orphan sisters. Their relationships with music and particularly with the complex, enigmatic figure of Antonio Vivaldi are sensitively explored. This novel resists the easy clich and really succeeds in drawing a world that is both panoramic and intimate."
Stephanie Cowell
"Music and the dangerous, exquisite world of eighteenth-century Venice form the setting of this poetic, sensual story of two orphaned sisters. The older is a shy, brilliant violinist, the younger a singer who will not be stopped in what she wants in life. One will cling to the chaste, unrequited love of a lifetime while the other will lose herself in the world of masks, lovers, gondolas, canals, and theaters. In all of this, they never lose their devotion to each other. The Four Seasons is a beautifully-written addition to the handful of fascinating novels about women and the arts in this most intriguing of cities."
From the Publisher
"Corona's The Four Seasons is historical fiction as it is meant to be written—a gripping exploration of the twisting byways of both 18th century Venice and the human heart. Pop Vivaldi's masterpiece into the CD player, brew a pot of tea, and prepare to relinquish the rest of your afternoon. Corona brings Venice and Vivaldi to life, delivering a stirring story of love, ambition, and music that will keep you reading long after the last note of the concerto has ended."—Lauren Willig, author of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

"Laurel Corona's The Four Seasons is a poignant tale of two sisters layered exquisitely over the exotic world of brilliant priest/composer Vivaldi and his 18th century Venice. The result: a vibrant crescendo of hearts and history."—Karen Harper, author of The Last Boleyn and The First Princess of Wales

"I've never been to Venice, played a violin, or for that matter carried a tune, but after reading The Four Seasons I feel that I've experienced all three, and through them come to a better understanding of the many forms love takes. Brava, Laurel Corona."—Sally Gunning, author of The Widow's War and Bound

"Corona does a magnificent job of showing us the violent contradictions of life in 18th-century Venice, through the eyes of two musically gifted orphan sisters. Their relationships with music and particularly with the complex, enigmatic figure of Antonio Vivaldi are sensitively explored. This novel resists the easy clich and really succeeds in drawing a world that is both panoramic and intimate."—Susanne Dunlap, author of Liszt's Kiss

"Music and the dangerous, exquisite world of eighteenth-century Venice form the setting of this poetic, sensual story of two orphaned sisters. The older is a shy, brilliant violinist, the younger a singer who will not be stopped in what she wants in life. One will cling to the chaste, unrequited love of a lifetime while the other will lose herself in the world of masks, lovers, gondolas, canals, and theaters. In all of this, they never lose their devotion to each other. The Four Seasons is a beautifully-written addition to the handful of fascinating novels about women and the arts in this most intriguing of cities."—Stephanie Cowell, author of Marrying Mozart

Publishers Weekly

The music students who inspired Vivaldi and the city where they performed the great composer's works come to life in Corona's adult fiction debut. In 1695, three-year-old Maddalena and her infant sister, Chiaretta, are abandoned on the doorstep of Venice's Pietà foundling hospital. Groomed for the Pietà's renowned music academy, Chiaretta, with her pretty blonde looks and beautiful voice, earns a place as celebrated soloist and marriage to an aristocrat. Dark, quiet Maddalena remains in the shadows until she takes up the violin, and a controversial musician and cleric, Antonio Vivaldi, becomes her teacher. Vivaldi represses his romantic feeling for Maddalena and instead writes concert pieces into which they can both put their hearts. According to Corona, women like the orphaned sisters inspired the fervor and brilliance of Vivaldi's music. Fans of Tracy Chevalier's Girl with a Pearl Earring will welcome another novel about how a masterpiece is created. Corona shines when showing musicians at work, especially through secondary characters both real (opera star Anna Giro) and imagined (violin teacher Silvia the Rat). (Nov.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401309268
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 11/4/2008
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 295,761
  • Product dimensions: 7.92 (w) x 5.36 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

Laurel Corona is the author of twenty plus grade-school books and a professor of English at San Diego City College. She was a Charter Fellow at the San Diego Area Writing Project. She has a BA from University of California and an MA from University of Chicago and received her PhD from University of California. She currently lives in San Diego, CA.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Excellent on so many levels

    There are so many facets to this story - the bond between the sisters, the descriptions of their cloistered lives, the pictures painted by the words used to describe the music, and the flavor of Venice at the time of Vivaldi. I became engrosed with the story. It carried me along with the rhythm of the music that was always in the background yet an integral part of the story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 6, 2013

    I really enjoyed this book!  I have always been curious about &q

    I really enjoyed this book!  I have always been curious about "The Red Priest" and LOVE Vivaldi's Four Seasons composition; one of my favorites!  But the backdrop to the story was the big surprise, the Pieta where the two main characters grow up in a cloistered environment and one is trained on the violin and the other as a singer.  Set against the extravagances of Venice and Carnivale, where a master like Vivaldi is forced to travel to earn his keep as a genius composer, and women have little control over their futures, especially if they come from wealthy families.  It was so interesting!  I was also surprised at the religious thread in the story.  The writing is a little slow, but stick with it because the entire story is worth it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 17, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    An excellent read...

    I highly recommend this book to anyone that is interested in the passion that drives people. Whether it is their passion to express themselves in the form of music, or the love they have to share with another which may or may not be consummated as well as the love they share with their sister. Being a sister and understanding the complexities of sisterhood, has only enhanced my reading experience of this book. I found the characters to be compelling and I thought the author brought the music of Venice to life for me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)