The reading is a curious hybrid: though the Akademie honors the period-instrument world’s current fascination with assertiveness, it also takes ambitious textural and interpretive liberties.... Not only does the ensemble incorporate a double bass, for example, but it also uses the instrument to magnify the dramatic thunderstorm passages in “Spring” and “Summer” and the breaking of the ice in “Winter.” When the hunters catch their quarry in the finale of “Autumn,” a snapping string suggests the lethal shot, and the bass pounds home its finality.
Ms. Seiler’s solo line is focused and often sizzling, and she makes a point of adding stylish ornamentation, along with programmatically freewheeling but defensible phrasing ideas.Read more When the second movement of “Spring” evokes a sleeping goatherd, she gives the solo line an unabashedly dreamy quality. And when Vivaldi’s peasants celebrate, in the finale of “Spring” and, especially, in the first movement of “Autumn,” Ms. Seiler’s rubbery rubbery portamento and casual rhythms suggest alarming levels of inebriation. “Four Seasons” performances have grown increasingly colorful, but even the iconoclastic Nigel Kennedy has not taken it quite so far.
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