I can hardly find words to express how BEAUTIFUL and LOVELY JULIA FISCHER's interpretation of Antonio Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" is!! Her recording is simply so consistently PURE and PERFECT and one simply won't be able to stop listening to it and watching her beautiful violin play! Technically, Julia Fischer's violin play is - as always! - a class of its own and there are few violinists nowadays who are as great violinists as Julia Fischer and whose violin play is of the same unique perfectness and quality; Julia Fischer's intonation is completely clean and accurate, flawless as well as precise - I lack the words to express this more appropriately! The tone of her violin does not "strike" the notes with an overemphasised and excessive vibrato, as other violinists prefer to use, but instead is right to the point and determining, well "demanding" but also in a certain way (which we can be happy about!!) "restrained", which means, as I just described, that she always prevents too much "colouring" of tones as well as overemphasised vibrato! So I really appreciate that Julia Fischer has enough respekt for this musical piece as well as discipline to interpret and perform it!
Besides Julia Fischer's 1. class technical control of this Antonio Vivaldi piece, FIRST OF ALL I have to mention - with extraordinary delight! - the very REMARKABLE INTERPRETATION of this piece, which had been recorded countless times in the past and which has almost been "worn-out" by these many recordings of this Vivaldi piece; as this recording is a DVD, which means an audio-visual recording, Julia Fischer's audiences and fans can really see how deeply moved and lost Julia Fischer is in her interpretation and violin play and playing together with the orchestra, and she shows us her emotions which these four concerti by Vivaldi cause on her! Several camera positions visualise how much Julia Fischer is expressing her feelings for this musical piece, you can see how she is getting carried away with this muscial piece and is vitalising it as well as playing it with much sensitiveness. This one can recognise from her always discreet but the more emotional expressions on her face when she appears especially emotional in some passages of these four concerti, and then when she as a conducting solist gets at the entries of each part of the orchestra with smooth smiles and glances in other passanges. "Discreet" is certainly (according to my own impressions which I have from Julia Fischer) quite a suitable expression or term or maybe a "description" for certain characteristic of this wonderful young 1. class violinist Julia Fischer (if I may assume or presume to say that!); what I want to say by that is as follows: Julia always finds, if in the interpretation of a musical piece or in her appearance, the right "centre", which means that she "balances" between too much or too little of something, e. g., in that she never "over-interprets" pieces and in that, in contrast, she is never too "shy" or "conservative" or too restrained in her interpretations and violin play.
This recording simply shows that it's all right! Julia Fischer, who conducts the orchestra completely on her own even at this very young age, together with the orchestra form a complete as well as much harmonic whole, which could be seen quite often like this in concert halls throughout the world. I hope a lot that this excellent cooperation between the young violinist Julia Fischer and the chamber orchestra of the "Academy of St. Martin in the Fields" remains for the future and can be seen more often in this combination in concert halls throughout the globe! I am really happy that after all this DVD offers classical audiences a FRESH NEW INTERPRETATION which lacks on the same high level in recordings made by other violinists. At this point Julia Fischer's interpretation is a really UNIQUE and so LIVELY one! After countless boring and tyring, well "dead" recordings made by other violin virtuosos I feel really VITALISED by this excellent and superb recording made by JULIA FISCHER!
Beyond that, the atmosphere as well as the background for this recording of each location in which the orchestra with solist Julia Fischer performed were altogether very well chosen changing for each of the Four Seasons in the "National Botanic Gardens of Wales", and they give it a really pleasant contrast which suits the interpretation of these four concerti. The four different costumes Julia Fischer wears for each of the four seasons were all very well chosen, and they suit this beautiful and attractive young violinist! But: It should have been decided to allow the members of the orchestra also wear (more) colourful costumes and not, instead, make them wear "priosoners' costumes"! So much as of one negative fact about this recording. However, there is one more, but much severe problem which is MUCH MORE ANNOYING and UPSETTING and particularly DISTURBING. I must urgently criticise the following problem of this otherwise beautiful and remarkable recording: There is disturbing noise - namely noise caused by the surrounding nature - which come from the background of the four different locations chosen for this recording within the "National Botanic Gardens of Wales". This noise is for example twittering birdies, buzzing humble-bees, rushing streams and blowing wind!!! It seems much like this trashy, silly or absurd as well as completely idiotic and stupid and unacceptable noise was intended to be recorded in a disturbing and upsetting manner for the background of this otherwise perfect and tremendous recording of Julia Fischer's "The Four Seasons". There is probably not a responsible person for making this recording who could not have heard this during the production of this DVD - as this noise is totally disturbing in several passages of "The Four Seasons"!!! Solist Julia Fischer and the orchestra make so much efforts to produce such a highly remarkable recording, at which they succeed so tremendously and overwhelmingly, while these intentions are partly disturbed by the noise I mentioned which comes from the background!! There is not a solist and no orchestra who could ever be happy or enthusiastic about such musical misdoing and support such nonsense and stupidness! This shows that the responsible managers of the DVD publishing company or its producers must apparently have had their "tentacles" in the pie when producing this DVD, and they must have lost any sense of this music - and in particular of classical music! - as well as any musical mind!! THOSE we, the audiences, owe this nonsense - NO thanks for that!!!
MUCH MORE THAN a "REPAIR" FOR THIS is in any case the 10 minutes' INTERVIEW WITH JULIA FISCHER in which she explains how she became introduced to "The Four Seasons" and what influenced her while learning this great musical piece, and Julia explains that this was her first "complete" piece for violin with orchestra and therefore it has a very special meaning for her. She also tells us about her musical idols, first to mention David Oistrach and secondly Yehudi Menuhin. Much more you will learn from this young violinist, about her future goals as well as about her musical perspective, and she talks about various musical subjects! This interview from her is really worth seeing it and listing to it, especially, if one is VERY ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT HER anyway and if one would like to learn more about Julia Fischer!
So, this recording is of HIGHEST PLEASURE TO LISTEN TO (despite the twittering birdies, buzzing humble-bees and rushing streams in the background) and additionally it is MUCH WORTH SEEING IT (not only because of the VERY BEAUTIFUL JULIA FISCHER!) and JULIA FISCHER earns some extra respect and acknowledgement for she conducts, at this very young age, the ORCHESTRA AS A SOLIST COMPLETELY ON HER OWN! And anyway this recording is a MUST for all VIVALDI fans and of course for all of those who are much enthusiastic about Julia Fischer! So I give FIVE stars and even MORE STARS, if possible! My very best recommendations to buy and especially to LISTEN TO and WATCH this GREATLY ASTONISHING VIVALDI PERFORMANCE!!