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Vivaldi: Four Seasons & Concertos RV257, 376 & 211
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Top Customer Reviews
But my interest lies primarily in the three world-premiere recordings also offered here. It might be imagined that these three late works are not in the same league as the concerti that precede them. This view would be completely mistaken. What is striking is that music of such quality should have been neglected for so long. (The reason why they were not published in Vivaldi's lifetime is because after 1733 he'd decided to sell manuscripts of concerti individually - at a guinea apiece, if you're interested. We're lucky most have survived.)
Although their sampling facility is exemplary, listening to the excerpts on Amazon will give only the vaguest idea of the depth and richness of sound created by Venice Baroque - the best Baroque ensemble, for my money. Music like this demands to be played on quality hi-fi equipment. The Eb concerto in particular is ravishing, life-affirming stuff. I've still no idea exactly what combination of instruments make up the sounds in the slow movement (theorbo, cello and organ is my best guess) but the result is hypnotic. RV211 and RV376 are also richly rewarding.
Altogether, this recording is essential listening. I paid full price for it in pre-Amazon days, but it has been worth every penny.
So much for that! This is marvellous stuff! The original instruments and the impeccable conducting (Andrea Marcon, also playing the harpsichord) should satisfy even the most exacting of baroque afficionados. Carmignola, as well as demonstrating his virtuosity, has managed quite a feat - a unique interpretation that is still faithful to the period but exciting at the same time. An added treat are the 3 violin concerti after the Four Seasons. Enjoy!
Seasons, but there is noone who can make the music
come alive like this soloist. He puts great
technical prowess at the service of the music, from the trilling birds at the start of Spring to the hair-raising slips and slides at the end of Winter.
The majority of such "authentic" offerings - from Bach to Beethoven - have always struck me as being hopelessly self-conscious, pretentious and exceedingly insecure. I am convinced that J. S. Bach would have loved the modern concert grand piano and after hearing this mighty instrument bring forth the glories of his Partitas, Suites and Keyboard Concertos, he would surely have set his harpsichord alight and danced around the pyre as the flames consumed the instrument of utter mediocrity (my deepest sympathies to those who still consider the harpsichord, the lute, or the Baroque viola suitable instruments for the 21st Century concert hall)...
...Or such was my fervent belief until I purchased - with some little trepidation - this "authentic period everything" recording of Vivaldi's undisputed 17th Century masterpiece. I can honestly say that I was shocked by my own reaction: Here, finally, was a truly sublime Baraoque period instrument performance that was completely devoid of insecure self-consciousness and high-born snobbery that simply seared its way into the depths of my heart and soul!
Not to put too fine a point on it, this is staggering stuff, flying straight in the face of 70 years of Vivaldi performance tradition. In the blink of an eye, I had to redefine ALL my cherished notions of what constituted a "proper" performance of Baroque music.Read more ›
Most people, even people who aren't particularly classical music fans, would recognise the four seasons, or at least some sections of it. It's not a small challenge to make it sound fresh, powerful and un-hackneyed.
Mr Carmingnola and his amazing crew rise magnificently to the occasion.
You get a sense from this mesmerising recording, that a lifetime's dedication to music and a group of great friends, very well led by Guiliano Carmingnola, a true master of the baroque violin, gave their all, had a fabulous time and got paid for it. The joy in the music making is completely evident, and what's not to like when you have virtuosity at this level. Carmignola plays as if possessed by the devil, but what precision and musicality, put simply, he's stunning. And what's even more amazing, is that as virtuoso as he is, and as fast as his tempi are in the fast parts of the fast-slow-fast format of the four seasons, his companions keep up with him, creating an unforgettable, and utterly thrilling edge-of-your seat live sounding performance.
if you like this music, and it's hard not to, it would be hard to dislike this brilliant recording of it
it has the bonus of extra concertos which if you like them, are very well played and recorded.
I have the Andrew Manze recording of the fours seasons, and as much as I love and admire it, this one edges it out, it out-panaches it even
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautiful CD. I love it! I don't know how many times I have played this CD but it is so beautiful that I cannot stop playing it. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Josephine
This is a fine recording of the four seasons, the playing is sharp and beautiful and the recording loses none of the subtleties of each of the seasons. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Matt
Baroque instruments are always going to sound a bit earthier than their modern counterparts, but here the sound is so close-up that the roughness is accentuated. Read morePublished on 5 Jan. 2014 by Stanley Crowe