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Vivaldi: The Four Seasons / Hogwood, AAM


Release Date: 10/09/2007 
Label:  L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog #: 1154059   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Given all the choices of period vs. modern instruments and performance practice in finding a recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, this is one period version worth having. It wasn't the first recording of the concertos on period instruments, but it remains an outstanding one decades after its original release. In the booklet accompanying this Decca reissue of a classic L'Oiseau Lyre recording are notes explaining why it's a classic. Christopher Hogwood had ideas about performance practices in Vivaldi's day that differed from other period-instrument recordings at the time. For instance, each concerto here features a different soloist, pulled from the regular Academy of Ancient Music ensemble, but there is still a consistent sound between Read more them. It's an extremely polished performance that is oh-so-elegant and would be hard to beat in terms of ensemble work, yet it still conveys the programmatic details of each concerto. In the first movement of "Summer," the way the upward-swinging three-note figures are never forced and never abrupt very clearly gives a sense of the heat, the laziness, and haziness of a summer day. The dance at the end of "Spring" is more pastorally refreshing than enthusiastically rustic. The Adagio in "Autumn" is still enough to make the harpsichord seem like a tip-toeing intruder. Other recordings may be more vivid or intentionally flamboyant in telling the stories behind each concerto, but Hogwood and the Academy prove it can be done much more subtly and be just as satisfying (or more so) to hear. L'Oiseau-Lyre's sound allows the drier, wirier sound of the Baroque instruments through nicely, but with enough resonance to alleviate any coldness in it.

– Patsy Morita, All Music Guide Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concertos (4) for Violin, Op. 8 no 1-4 "Four seasons" by Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 

Sound Samples

Concerto for Violin and Strings in E, Op.8, No.1, R.269 "La Primavera": 1. Allegro
Concerto for Violin and Strings in E, Op.8, No.1, R.269 "La Primavera": 2. Largo
Concerto for Violin and Strings in E, Op.8, No.1, R.269 "La Primavera": 3. Allegro (Danza pastorale)
Concerto for Violin and Strings in G minor, Op.8, No.2, R.315 "L'estate": 1. Allegro non molto - Allegro
Concerto for Violin and Strings in G minor, Op.8, No.2, R.315 "L'estate": 2. Adagio - Presto - Adagio
Concerto for Violin and Strings in G minor, Op.8, No.2, R.315 "L'estate": 3. Presto (Tempo impetuoso d'estate)
Concerto for Violin and Strings in F, Op.8, No.3, R.293 "L'autunno": 1. Allegro (Ballo, e canto de' villanelli)
Concerto for Violin and Strings in F, Op.8, No.3, R.293 "L'autunno": 2. Adagio molto (Ubriachi dormienti)
Concerto for Violin and Strings in F, Op.8, No.3, R.293 "L'autunno": 3. Allegro (La caccia)
Concerto for Violin and Strings in F minor, Op.8, No.4, R.297 "L'inverno": 1. Allegro non molto
Concerto for Violin and Strings in F minor, Op.8, No.4, R.297 "L'inverno": 2. Largo
Concerto for Violin and Strings in F minor, Op.8, No.4, R.297 "L'inverno": 3. Allegro

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