The concertos were first published in 1725 as part of a set of twelve concerti, Vivaldi's Op. 8, entitled Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione. Vivaldi dedicated their publication to a Bohemian patron, Count Václav Morzin, and in so mentioned the count's longstanding regard for these four, in particular —although his dedication may have been closely related to the completion of an Augustinian monastery that year, where Vivaldi, a priest himself, refers to Morzin, the church's dedicator, as "Chamberlain and Counsellor to His Majesty, the Catholic Emperor"—while Vivaldi presents them anew, with sonnets or enhancements for clear interpretation. The first four concertos are designated Le quattro stagioni, each being named after a season. Each one is in three movements, with a slow movement between two faster ones. At the time of writing The Four Seasons, the modern solo form of the concerto had not yet been defined. Vivaldi's original arrangement for solo violin with string quartet and basso continuo helped to define the form of the concerto.
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