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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First choice on modern instruments, 21 Mar 2014
By 
Ralph Moore "Ralph operaphile" (Bishop's Stortford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Vivaldi: Le Quattro Stagioni/The Four Seasons (Audio CD)
I would buy and force myself to love this "inauthentic" account of the world's favourite piece of baroque music even if it were not superlative, just to cock a snook at the HIPsters and anti-Karajan brigade.

As it is, I don't have to perform any mental equivocations, as this is so enjoyable and beautifully played that I recommend it as first modern-instrument choice to anyone not wedded to the period mindset. The playing is miraculously warm, in tune and homogeneous, well sprung and energised without being over-Romanticised. The recording quality is so clear that the occasional car accelerating obtrudes through the blooming instrumental sound. The supporting band is not so large, being only 23 strings underpinned by a harpsichord and an organ - and what a rich, luscious sound they make; sample the Presto thunderstorm music from "L'estate" to appreciate their intensity.

The twenty-year-old Mutter is of course a minor miracle of virtuosity, here playing with more élan than when she was first Karajan's protégée. This was the first classical music CD to win a platinum award for sales; it offers fewer than 45 minutes of music and neither the exact recording date nor the location is provided in the skimpy notes - but what does that matter?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant illumination of the Seasons, 21 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Vivaldi: Le Quattro Stagioni/The Four Seasons (Audio CD)
It has to be said first that authenticists should run 1,000,000 miles from this recording. It is certainly not authentic either in instrumental in or in style. Having said that it is hugely enjoyable. Soloist and conductor obviously have a great understanding and rhythms are lithe and buoyant. I found this a hugely enjoyable traverse all of this music. And after all that is what music is about!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good!, 27 Nov 2010
By 
J. Gibbons (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vivaldi: Le Quattro Stagioni/The Four Seasons (Audio CD)
I must admit I approached this issue with some trepidation as Karajan's reputation as a conductor of baroque music is not great. However, I was very pleasantly surprised and found the music making thoroughly enjoyable. The Vienna strings sound superb and Anne Sophie Mutter's playing is a continual delight. She has a beautiful tone, great technical skill, and blends superbly with the ensemble. Karajan directs fine performances which, although romantic in style, never flag and are full of drama - for example a fine 'storm' movement in 'Summer'.

There are many approaches to Vivaldi's music and Karajan's, although not 'authentic', is thoroughly enjoyable on it's own terms. The recording balance between soloist and orchestra is perfectly judged with neither being dominant. Recording quality is of demonstration standard.

Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but not exceptional, 15 Sep 2013
By 
Stuart (Victoria Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Vivaldi: Le Quattro Stagioni/The Four Seasons (Audio CD)
I can't criticise the quality, and it is a great listen, but it's not an exceptional CD.
For the first time listener to the 4 seasons, I would highly recommend it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First rate in all respects, 7 Dec 2012
This review is from: Vivaldi: Le Quattro Stagioni/The Four Seasons (Audio CD)
I picked this up on a vinyl LP recently and I think it's superb. One of my favourite recordings of the Four Seasons for years has been the old Barchet/Stuttgart/Munchinger because of the steady speeds throughout and this digital EMI is much the same. Anne-Sophie Mutter is absolutely superb, as is the orchestra and the recording. In fact, I like Karajan now as well (somewhat).
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Vivaldi: Le Quattro Stagioni/The Four Seasons
Vivaldi: Le Quattro Stagioni/The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi (Audio CD - 1984)
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