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Children's LiteratureThis title is part of the "Masters of Music, The World's Greatest Composers" series which combines biography, musical knowledge, events and other people of the times in text which appeals to average readers in middle school but is useful for high school students, as well. Vivaldi's "Four Seasons," the most popular work of classical music in recent studies, languished on a library shelf until the mid-1950s. The author of this text makes fascinating the story of this late "discovery" of works by man who lived during the rule of Louis XIV in France and the era of Stradivari and his violin-making. The author's fairly scholarly recounting of Vivaldi's music covers performances at the time, the importance of Vivaldi's other works, and an analysis of "The Four Seasons," which may prove skippable to casual browsers but of real interest to musicians. A chronology, further reading, a bibliography of books for young adults, numerous websites both on the man and on the times, a list of selected works by Vivaldi, chapter notes with sources for quotes, reference works consulted, and an index are included. While the reading level is listed at upper elementary level, the text assumes knowledge of some specialized vocabulary and a working knowledge of history to help set some of the events in the context which the book tries to provide. 2005, Mitchell Lane Publishers, Ages 10 to 14.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.