Tuesday, February 03, 2015

App Review: Vivaldi's Four Seasons

VIVALDI’S FOUR SEASONS from Touch Press is a beautifully designed app that explores the past, present, and future of this musical masterpiece.
This stunning app is filled with high quality content that is wonderfully presented and easy to access. The app is divided into three parts.
Antonio Vivaldi’s Original featuring Trevor Pinnock explores the version of the music most familiar to listeners. The immersive experience provides the music along with the text of either the Sonnet or Commentary. In addition, a simple, but stunning visual known as a BeatMap shows the role of each instrument as it’s being played. The sonnet option would be an exciting addition to an AP English class. The commentary is easy enough to understand that high school music students will be able to follow the discussion. In addition, users can follow the full score by instrument. The screen is well-designed making it easy to navigation among the options.
Max Richter’s Recomposed featuring Daniel Hope reimagines the music for a new generation of listeners. The app presents the music in a simple screen design with the full score available as well as visual representations of the instrumentation. Holding a finger down on an instrument allows listeners to solo each section. Video is also provided so users can see the musicians play.
The Story featuring Suzy Klein (writer), Max Richter (composer), Daniel Hope (violinist), and Avi Avital (mandolinist) explores the story behind the music including the origin of the music and the composer. It also traces how the music has evolved over time. Although digitized primary source documents from the period would be useful in bringing the story alive for readers, the app does an excellent job telling the story. The short video interviews add to the experience. The most interesting section describes the music as users listen to a few bars at the time.
This amazing music app is recommended for high schools with classical music programs. It would also be useful in high school humanities courses including English and history.
Music lovers will also enjoy other apps by Touch Press including Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, The Orchestra, and The Liszt Sonata.
Although Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is expensive when compared with other apps, it’s well worth the price for the content-rich, immersive experience.
To learn more about the app, go to http://vivaldisfourseasons.com/?tpnav=1.
To purchase the app, go to https://itunes.apple.com/app/id827751585.