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Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, Etc / Huggett, Kraemer, Et Al


Release Date: 04/11/2000 
Label:  Virgin Classics Veritas Catalog #: 61668   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Monica Huggett
Conductor:  Nicholas Kraemer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Raglan Baroque Players
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is only the third period-instrument version of op. 8 available on CD but we already have tin em.barras de richesses when it comes, as it should, to quality. Nicholas Anderson has enthused over the recordings by The English Concert (EC) on the CR0 label and The Academy of Ancient Music (AAM) on L'Oiseau-Lyre, and I am about to do so over this new one by the Raglan Baroque Players (RBP)—which is easier to do than to make a final, definitive recommendation! One factor that may make your choice easier is, that the AAM use an oboe (Vivaldi's own preference) as the solo instrument in Concertos Nos. 9 and 12, whilst the EC and RBP choose the 'optional' violin; on the other hand, the EC and RBP each add two extra concertos for good measure, Read more whilst the AAM do not.

The Four Seasons are part of the Op. 8 set and are quite likely to be already on your shelves in some other version; the AAM give each one to a different soloist (five share the ten violin concertos of Op. 8), bringing variety of both approach and quality—maybe, as NA suggested, reflecting variable thoroughness of preparation. This lack of consistency persuades me, however reluctantly, to pass over the AAM in favour of the EC, not one whit less stylish and, in "Summer", adding the light, bright coloration of a baroque guitar. The RBP bring a little more—but by no means excessive—fantasy to these works than do the others (and, individually, are available on a separate disc along with Concertos Nos. 5, 6, 10 and Ii).

Throughout the whole set Monica Huggett, secure in intonation and never audibly troubled by technical difficulty, is unsurpassed in the 'vocal' moulding of her phrases through subtle rubato and the discreet hairpinning of notes, and she is the mistress of shapely and sinuous embellishment, beguilingly applied to many slow movements. Some may find the latter sometimes to be overdone but I love it—and if in doing so I attract my share of the criticism, so be it; Standage (with the EC) comes a close second, always tasteful, inventive and natural-sounding but less sensuous. Playing of such fine-drawn sensitivity as Huggett brings to the Largo of Concerto No. 9 is frissonprovoking. Where 'masculine' strength and energy are called for in the outer movements they are forthcoming; Huggett's bow digs as deep as is fitting, and tempos that are often slightly quicker than those of the EC enhance the feeling of animation.

Both bands are worthy complements to their soloists: the RBP recorded The Four Seasons and two other concertos with one personnel and the remainder of Op. 8 with another, differing mainly in the higher string departments; both are equally effective and both have a rounder, less edgy (though still transparent) sound than the EC. I did say at the outset, that a firm recommendation was hard to make: though on balance I lean toward Huggett/RBP, I hasten to add that whichever your own final choice, you won't draw a short straw. Even better, avoid the necessity of making the choice—get them both; a couple of days on an economy diet (if it has to come to that) will pay dividends.

-- Gramophone [4/1990] Reviewing Virgin 91147
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concertos (4) for Violin, Op. 8 no 1-4 "Four seasons" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Monica Huggett (Violin)
Conductor:  Nicholas Kraemer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Raglan Baroque Players
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 1988-89 
Venue:  Abbey Road Studios No 1, London 
2.
Concerto for Violin in E major, Op. 8 no 1/RV 269 "Primavera" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Monica Huggett (Violin)
Conductor:  Nicholas Kraemer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Raglan Baroque Players
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 1988-89 
Venue:  Abbey Road Studios No 1, London 
Length: 8 Minutes 53 Secs. 
3.
Concerto for Violin in G minor, Op. 8 no 2/RV 315 "L'estate" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Monica Huggett (Violin)
Conductor:  Nicholas Kraemer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Raglan Baroque Players
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 1988-89 
Venue:  Abbey Road Studios No 1, London 
Length: 7 Minutes 26 Secs. 
4.
Concerto for Violin in F major, Op. 8 no 3/RV 293 "L'autunno" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Monica Huggett (Violin)
Conductor:  Nicholas Kraemer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Raglan Baroque Players
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 1988-89 
Venue:  Abbey Road Studios No 1, London 
Length: 7 Minutes 47 Secs. 
5.
Concerto for Violin in F minor, Op. 8 no 4/RV 297 "L'inverno" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Monica Huggett (Violin)
Conductor:  Nicholas Kraemer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Raglan Baroque Players
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 1988-89 
Venue:  Abbey Road Studios No 1, London 
Length: 11 Minutes 39 Secs. 
6.
Concerto for Violin in E flat major, Op. 8 no 5/RV 253 "La tempesta di mare" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Monica Huggett (Violin)
Conductor:  Nicholas Kraemer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Raglan Baroque Players
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 1988-89 
Venue:  Abbey Road Studios No 1, London 
Length: 8 Minutes 55 Secs. 
7.
Concerto for Violin in C major, Op. 8 no 6/RV 180 "Il piacere" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Monica Huggett (Violin)
Conductor:  Nicholas Kraemer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Raglan Baroque Players
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 1988-89 
Venue:  Abbey Road Studios No 1, London 
Length: 8 Minutes 49 Secs. 
8.
Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 8 no 7/RV 242 "Per Pisendel" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Monica Huggett (Violin)
Conductor:  Nicholas Kraemer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Raglan Baroque Players
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 1988-89 
Venue:  Abbey Road Studios No 1, London 
Length: 8 Minutes 40 Secs. 
9.
Concerto for Violin in G minor, Op. 8 no 8/RV 332 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Monica Huggett (Violin)
Conductor:  Nicholas Kraemer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Raglan Baroque Players
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 1988-89 
Venue:  Abbey Road Studios No 1, London 
Length: 9 Minutes 29 Secs. 
10.
Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 8 no 9/RV 236 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Monica Huggett (Violin)
Conductor:  Nicholas Kraemer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Raglan Baroque Players
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 1988-89 
Venue:  Abbey Road Studios No 1, London 
Length: 9 Minutes 48 Secs. 
11.
Concerto for Violin in B flat major, Op. 8 no 10/RV 362 "La caccia" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Monica Huggett (Violin)
Conductor:  Nicholas Kraemer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Raglan Baroque Players
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 1988-89 
Venue:  Abbey Road Studios No 1, London 
Length: 11 Minutes 10 Secs. 
12.
Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 8 no 11/RV 210 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Monica Huggett (Violin)
Conductor:  Nicholas Kraemer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Raglan Baroque Players
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 1988-89 
Venue:  Abbey Road Studios No 1, London 
Length: 7 Minutes 57 Secs. 
13.
Concerto for Violin in C major, Op. 8 no 12/RV 178 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Monica Huggett (Violin)
Conductor:  Nicholas Kraemer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Raglan Baroque Players
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 1988-89 
Venue:  Abbey Road Studios No 1, London 
Length: 8 Minutes 34 Secs. 
14.
Concerto for Violin and Cello in A major, RV 546 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Monica Huggett (Violin)
Conductor:  Nicholas Kraemer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Raglan Baroque Players
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 1988-89 
Venue:  Abbey Road Studios No 1, London 
Length: 8 Minutes 6 Secs. 
15.
Concerto for 2 Violins in G major, RV 516 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Monica Huggett (Violin)
Conductor:  Nicholas Kraemer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Raglan Baroque Players
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 1988-89 
Venue:  Abbey Road Studios No 1, London 
Length: 7 Minutes 39 Secs. 

Sound Samples

The Four Seasons (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8), Concerto No. 1 in E (La primavera/ Spring) RV269 (Op. 8 No. 1): I. Allegro
The Four Seasons (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8), Concerto No. 1 in E (La primavera/ Spring) RV269 (Op. 8 No. 1): II. Largo
The Four Seasons (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8), Concerto No. 1 in E (La primavera/ Spring) RV269 (Op. 8 No. 1): III. Allegro
The Four Seasons (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8), Concerto No. 2 in G minor (L'estate/ Summer) RV315 (Op. 8 No. 2): I. Allegro
The Four Seasons (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8), Concerto No. 2 in G minor (L'estate/ Summer) RV315 (Op. 8 No. 2): II. Adagio
The Four Seasons (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8), Concerto No. 2 in G minor (L'estate/ Summer) RV315 (Op. 8 No. 2): III. Presto
The Four Seasons (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8), Concerto No. 3 in F (L'autunno/ Autumn) RV293 (Op. 8 No. 3): I. Allegro
The Four Seasons (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8), Concerto No. 3 in F (L'autunno/ Autumn) RV293 (Op. 8 No. 3): II. Adagio molto
The Four Seasons (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8), Concerto No. 3 in F (L'autunno/ Autumn) RV293 (Op. 8 No. 3): III. Allegro
The Four Seasons (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8), Concerto No. 4 in F minor (L'inverno/ Winter) RV297 (Op. 8 No. 4): I. Allegro non molto
The Four Seasons (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8), Concerto No. 4 in F minor (L'inverno/ Winter) RV297 (Op. 8 No. 4): II. Largo
The Four Seasons (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8), Concerto No. 4 in F minor (L'inverno/ Winter) RV297 (Op. 8 No. 4): III. Allegro
Concerto No. 5 in E flat major RV 253, La tempesta di mare' (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op8): I. Presto
Concerto No. 5 in E flat major RV 253, La tempesta di mare' (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op8): II. Largo
Concerto No. 5 in E flat major RV 253, La tempesta di mare' (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op8): III. Presto
Concerto No. 6 in C major RV 180 (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8): I. Allegro
Concerto No. 6 in C major RV 180 (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8): II. Largo
Concerto No. 6 in C major RV 180 (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8): III. Allegro
Concerto No. 7 in D minor RV 242 (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8): I. Allegro
Concerto No. 7 in D minor RV 242 (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8): II. Largo
Concerto No. 7 in D minor RV 242 (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8): III. Allegro
Concerto No. 8 in G minor RV 332 (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione, Op.8): I. Allegro
Concerto No. 8 in G minor RV 332 (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione, Op.8): II. Largo
Concerto No. 8 in G minor RV 332 (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione, Op.8): III. Allegro
Concerto No. 9 in D minor RV 236 (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione, Op.8): I. Allegro
Concerto No. 9 in D minor RV 236 (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione, Op.8): II. Largo
Concerto No. 9 in D minor RV 236 (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione, Op.8): III. Allegro
Concerto No. 10 in B flat major RV 362 'La Caccia' (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione): I. Allegro
Concerto No. 10 in B flat major RV 362 'La Caccia' (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione): II. Adagio
Concerto No. 10 in B flat major RV 362 'La Caccia' (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione): III. Allegro
Concerto No. 11 in D major RV 210 (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8): I. Allegro
Concerto No. 11 in D major RV 210 (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8): II. Largo
Concerto No. 11 in D major RV 210 (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8): III. Allegro
Concerto No. 12 in C major RV178 (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8): I. Allegro
Concerto No. 12 in C major RV178 (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8): II. Largo
Concerto No. 12 in C major RV178 (from Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione Op.8): III. Allegro
Concerto for Violin, Cello and Strings in A major RV 546: I. Allegro
Concerto for Violin, Cello and Strings in A major RV 546: II. Andante
Concerto for Violin, Cello and Strings in A major RV 546: III. Allegro
Concerto for two violins in G major RV 516: I. Allegro molto
Concerto for two violins in G major RV 516: II. Andante (molto)
Concerto for two violins in G major RV 516: III. Allegro

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