Having listened to many versions of the years of the four seasons, this is the one that is simply stunning in every way. It is on baroque instruments which gives that edge and bite thats needed. It has a lute in the continuo which is the fashion more recently with original instrument recordings and this adds character and strength to the base line with a real sense of rhythm when called for.
The fast movements are VERY fast-something I was never sure about-but this is totally convincing and musical. The soloist and tutti articulate every note to perfection.
Never before have I heard so clearly the twittering of Spring's birds, or the dog barking in the distance, or best of all the ice skaters falling in winter.
In additional the slow movements are ravishingly and aching beautifully played-a wonderful contrast to the fast movements. Listen to the end of the slow movement of summer and how Carmignola fades quietly away yet maintaining a pure tone.
It is clear that a lot of thought has been given to interpreting the four seasons here. I cant understand how the Penguin guide misses giving this a rosette and yet does for the Accardo version which just sounds pedestrian and even missing the point.
In summary then, a much recorded work with many versions available, this one is breathtaking, beautiful and will have you listening to it over and over again. A desert island disc!