Summer from Vivaldi's Il Quattro Stagione is probably the best known piece of music from the 18th Century which depicts a storm. However a whole host of composers attempted to depict storms, either programmatically or rhetorically in instrumental works, ballet scenes, arias and choruses. I've presented a few of my favourites here, in rough chronological order. We begin and end with music that raised the curtain to performances of the Tempest. The first, Matthew Locke's curtain tune presents eerie calm with daring dissonances between the turbulent passages. We finish with Thomas Linley the younger's remarkable and inspired storm chorus which stands as a bulwark in English music somewhere between the high Baroque and the Romantic style of the next century. Hopefully I will add to these from time to time.
I thought I'd upload something with a Halloween theme. This is the beginning of the second part of Linley's Shakespeare Ode, describing scenes from Macbeth and the Witches' rituals. The setting is extraordinarily vivid and almost gruesome in places, the Chorus "What howling whirlwinds" and the two accompanied recitatives are forward looking to the point that they almost sound like Weber or even Berlioz in their portrayal of the supernatural and gothic horror.