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7 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great recording and interpretation, 10 April 2010
By 
C. T. Maddison (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Probably one of the most widely recognised and recorded suites of music this version of the four seasons and devils trill sonata is a very spacious and gentle interpretation. I purchased this particular album as I'm a particular fan of Joshua Bell's highly emotional style of violin playing. While this album is very good I felt Bell's usual emotive style did not quite come through for me in this recording, though this is of course very subjective. I have an identical album recorded by Vanessa-Mae which i have grown to love and therefore it's all to easy to compare. Bell's recordings of the four seasons are lacking in some areas but beautifully clear and rich in others. His recording of the devils trill sonata is very different to Vanessa-Mae's and overall I feel it really lacks the power needed to convey the whole story behind the music, but again, it all depends what you're looking for in your music. If, like me you like to hear different recordings and different artists perform the same music then this album is still a very strong and enjoyable listen and far better than many recordings I've heard.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXTRAORDINARILY PERSONAL "FOUR SEASONS", 10 April 2012
By 
RSProds "rbsprods" (Deep in the heart of Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Vivaldi - The Four Seasons (Audio CD)
Five BIG Stars!! Grammy-winning violin virtuoso Joshua Bell, one of the greatest on the planet, steps into the baroque world and delivers an unusually personal, superb version of Antonio Vivaldi's "Four Seasons". This is an oft-recorded work (in the past year alone I've purchased a wonderful version by violinist Viktoria Mullova/Claudio Abbado and enjoyed a very nice transcribed slice of "Winter" by cellist Sol Gabetta in full baroque gear), but in Mr Bell's hands he reveals even more wonderful tempo elasticity and more personal nuances in this classic work by "the Red Priest". On this CD, not only is Mr Bell in the role of dazzling virtuosic soloist and conductor, but he is fortunate to have the superb Academy of St. Martin in the Fields as his orchestra and they have had a year of performances leading up to this august recording.

The entire work is breathtakingly wonderful and should find it's way into music libraries as a benchmark work. My favorites are the third movement (presto) of Summer (with Mr Bell daringly ahead of the normal pulse) which is outstanding and unrelenting in it's intensity, the first movement of Autumn, and the entire wondrous four movements of Winter. It's amazing how the familiar becomes fresh in different hands. Mr Bell successfully pairs the Vivaldi work with a 14 minute exposition of Tartini's Sonata in G Minor for Violin and Basso Continuo (aka The Devil's Trill Sonata) which is a lovely work of elegance and virtuosity, the last four minutes of which are stunning. Throughout Mr Bell pulls off difficult passages with ease and depth of feeling. This is truly beautiful music that leaps into the realm of pure enjoyment and over any possible controversies about period instruments, baroque strings & bows, and vibrato. It took Joshua Bell decades to finally work his way to Vivaldi's Four Seasons but the wait was worth it. Bravo, Mr Bell. My Highest Recommendation. Five BIG Stars (This review is based on an iTunes download, also containing the translations of the very poetic seasonal sonnets Vivaldi wrote to accompany the music.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Top Four Seasons, 8 Dec 2010
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Yes, there are many recordings of this work, and people will always have their particular favourites. However I find this recording fresh, inspired and very enjoyable. And - also very important - beautifully recorded.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 3 July 2014
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Excellent
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5.0 out of 5 stars i'm impressed, 22 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Vivaldi - The Four Seasons (Audio CD)
High Quality and clean Recording.
Virtuoso performance.
I strongly recommend it to music lovers.
This CD is my favorite.
Regards.
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5.0 out of 5 stars recommends, 15 Sep 2014
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Amazing interpretation of the famouse master piece. Realy good value for the money !
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, but not for me, 7 Feb 2010
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This review is from: Vivaldi - The Four Seasons (Audio CD)
I can appreciate why this has top marks in the Penquin Guide to classical CDs. It is an outstanding performance. However, music is a very personal thing and I prefer the performance by Tafelmusik on Sony SMK89987. The violinist is Jeanne Lamon. Also sold by Amazon.
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Vivaldi - The Four Seasons
Vivaldi - The Four Seasons by Joshua Bell (Audio CD - 2008)
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