Reworkings of The Four Seasonsnever go out of style. Vivaldi’s set of four programmatic violin concertos – ubiquitous in their own right – have been reimagined by the likes of Max Richter, Nigel Kennedy and Australian/British synth-pop string quartet Bond. More recently, Anna Meredith’s ANNO, which intertwines Vivaldi’s concertos with music for string and electronics, was slated for the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s 2020 season (before the COVID-19 pandemic forced its cancellation) while this year’s Sydney Festival has already boasted another response to the concertos in Force Majeure’s The Last Season .

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra performs  The [Uncertain] Four Seasons at The Headland. Photo © Yaya Stempler

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s The [Uncertain] Four Seasons– which opened Sydney Festival’s outdoor stage The Headland on Barangaroo Reserve after The Pulsewas cancelled due to border restrictions – takes Vivaldi’s familiar music as the jumping off point for a sobering message about the impact of climate change.

The SSO’s Concertmaster Andrew Haveron introduces the first concerto with a melancholy cadenza and when the orchestra plays the famous ‘Spring’ melody it is heavy and...