There is not exactly a shortage of recordings of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, but I liked Kennedy's earlier recording with the English Chamber Orchestra and thought I would give this a try. I was expecting something rather heavy from an orchestra the size of the B.P.O. Well, our Nigel has worked wonders here; clearly the band got on well with him because this performance is bursting with vitality. I would never have identified this as the Berlin Phil. just listening 'blind' to this. They are also suitably laid-back in the sultry 'Summer' movements and Kennedy is electifying as soloist. Sometimes we forget just how fine a violinist he is. There is room for both this approach with modern instruments and the more common fashion for 'original' instruments in a smaller group. What matters in the end is the enjoyment communicated, and this performance, with its fillers, brings plenty of pleasure. It has been excellently recorded by EMI in a spacious acoustic. Definitely one to consider.
Of course he's gone and done it again- shown us all (this time) why we should explore Vivaldi a lot more, and given us new delights in music. I really do feel like thanking this man. This recording just flows very naturally from beginning to end, full of musicality, bursting with life expressed in great art. The technique seems so effortless and impeccable, it shows off the wonderful music so well without any strain or seeming artifice like a blackbird singing its heart out on an early summer evening. Buy it and have a lot of pure joy.