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Vivaldi: The Four Seasons / Kyung-Wha Chung, St. Luke's CO


Release Date: 02/13/2001 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 57015   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Kyung-Wha Chung
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 41 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Fresh and spontaneously joyful, this is a delightful version of what is probably the most over-duplicated work in the catalogue.

Admirers of Kyung-Wha Chung will hardly mind the poor value in time-length (Kennedy, also on EMI, does not have a coupling, either), when it so winningly adds to Chung’s discography. It is the more welcome when, since her switch from Decca to EMI, new recordings from her have been all too few.

This is an unashamedly traditional performance, one which has little or no regard for period practice, but gives us a sequence of four concertos in warmly relaxed readings. Unlike those of Kennedy and Mutter they avoid extreme speeds, either fast or slow. This is music-making among
Read more friends, made the more vivid by the richness and immediacy of the recorded sound. I have no idea how many players there were in the ensemble, but the warmth and beefiness suggest a bigger band than it obviously was, the solo violin being nicely balanced, not excessively spotlit.

The very opening finds the first movement of ‘Spring’ taken at a relatively relaxed speed, the rhythms made to bounce infectiously. In their different ways both Mutter and Kennedy convey enjoyment, too, but Chung sounds even more spontaneous, allowing a degree more flexibility in expressive rubato, reflecting the feeling of the moment. She and her colleagues vividly bring out Vivaldi’s illustrative effects, whether of storms, birdsong or whatever. These may not be live performances, but they have similar merits, even if ensemble is not always so crisply co-ordinated as it is with the other two.

With such close balance, the dynamic range is less than with either Kennedy or Mutter, but that too makes for comfortable listening, and throughout the performances one welcomes the fiery magnetism of Chung, such as we recognised in her very earliest recordings for Decca.

The most extreme contrast between the three interpretations comes in the opening movement of ‘Autumn’, where Kennedy is fast and fierce (4'37''), and Mutter gives the most rapt, intense reading at a very broad speed (6'13''). Chung is very much in the middle (5'26''), with dynamic contrasts less marked but still clear, and the jollity of the music brought out in lifted rhythms. A pity there is no coupling, but in every other way this could hardly be more recommendable.

-- Edward Greenfield, Gramophone [3/2001]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concertos (4) for Violin, Op. 8 no 1-4 "Four seasons" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Kyung-Wha Chung (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/2000 
Venue:  SUNY Purchase, New York 
2.
Concerto for Violin in E major, Op. 8 no 1/RV 269 "Primavera" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Kyung-Wha Chung (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/2000 
Venue:  SUNY Purchase, New York 
Length: 10 Minutes 23 Secs. 
3.
Concerto for Violin in G minor, Op. 8 no 2/RV 315 "L'estate" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Kyung-Wha Chung (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/2000 
Venue:  SUNY Purchase, New York 
Length: 10 Minutes 26 Secs. 
4.
Concerto for Violin in F major, Op. 8 no 3/RV 293 "L'autunno" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Kyung-Wha Chung (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/2000 
Venue:  SUNY Purchase, New York 
Length: 11 Minutes 7 Secs. 
5.
Concerto for Violin in F minor, Op. 8 no 4/RV 297 "L'inverno" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Kyung-Wha Chung (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/2000 
Venue:  SUNY Purchase, New York 
Length: 8 Minutes 45 Secs. 

Sound Samples

The Four Seasons, Concerto in E Major, RV. 269 ("Spring"): I. Allegro
The Four Seasons, Concerto in E Major, RV. 269 ("Spring"): II. Largo
The Four Seasons, Concerto in E Major, RV. 269 ("Spring"): III. Allegro
The Four Seasons, Concerto in G Minor, RV 315 ("Summer"): I. Allegro non molto
The Four Seasons, Concerto in G Minor, RV 315 ("Summer"): II. Adagio
The Four Seasons, Concerto in G Minor, RV 315 ("Summer"): III. Presto
The Four Seasons, Concerto in F Major, RV 293 ("Autumn"): I. Allegro
The Four Seasons, Concerto in F Major, RV 293 ("Autumn"): II. Adagio molto
The Four Seasons, Concerto in F Major, RV 293 ("Autumn"): III. Allegro
The Four Seasons, Concerto in F Minor, RV 297 ("Winter"): I. Allegro non molto
The Four Seasons, Concerto in F Minor, RV 297 ("Winter"): II. Largo
The Four Seasons, Concerto in F Minor, RV 297 ("Winter"): III. Allegro

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