This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
This is a recording that conveys vividly, but not theatrically, the spirit of the music.
This is, including a few oddballs, the 39th CD version of Vivaldi's Big Four (the LP count is even higher): "What, another one?" do I hear you say? Well, yes—but numbers aren't everything. In an earlier selection of Vivaldi concertos (EMI (D CDC7 49320-2, 10/88) Accardo celebrated the art of Stradivarius by using four 'matched' priceless violins and here he continues to do so with one per season: Cremonese, ex-Reynier, Firebird and Hart (ex-Francescatti), in that order. The pleasure of playing these instruments is shared by the ripieno violinists, all five of whom get their solo places in the Venetian sun in RV55I and 580,
not overshadowed by their distinguished maestro. Such opulence of sound might have unfortunate consequences for this music but, thanks to the modest size of the band (188.8.131.52) and the buon gusto of all concerned, it does not; as with the best potato chips, crispness and lightness prevail and the cooking fat of vibrato is sufficient to please the palate, but not to cloy it. Though several of the flanking movements are a little leisurely, the slow ones are fractionally quicker than usual in tempo, but you are likely to notice it only if you consult the clock—and, as I said, numbers aren't everything. As in the earlier EMI recording, the harpsichordist (Bruno Canino) is very much in evidence and usually with something of his own to say; in the second movement of "Autumn" he does considerably more than arpeggiate, and he deftly echoes Accardo's embellishments in the second movement of "Winter". Some may feel that he 'talks' too much, but I find it an amiable peccadillo—if such it be.
This is a recording that happily bridges the divide between 'middle of the road' and 'authentic' and one that should please devotees of either species; it conveys, vividly but not theatrically, the spirit of the music—and without misrepresentation. This splendidly engineered recording is not, by the way, the first all-Stradivarius Four Seasons; that distinction belongs to Ruggiero Ricci (MCA MUCSI IS, 9/68—nla). As if all this were not enough, there is the unusual bonus of the multiple concertos; most other recordings of The Four Seasons contain nothing more.
-- Gramophone [12/1988]
Works on This Recording
Concerto for 3 Violins in F major, RV 551 by Antonio Vivaldi
Salvatore Accardo (Violin)
I Solisti di Napoli
Written: Venice, Italy
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