You’re right, the world probably doesn’t need yet another Four Seasons, but if it did, this new production from the newly launched house label from the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra would definitely justify its existence by the effervescent, crisp, technically assured playing of violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock and the equally vibrant, articulate orchestral ensemble. Back in the late 1980s I received a recording from an orchestra’s newly launched label—interestingly the orchestra was another "Philharmonia", the Philharmonia Virtuosi—and the repertoire was, you guessed it, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. I had the same reaction then: do we need another version of this over-recorded warhorse? But itRead more turned out to be one of the more exciting things I’d heard in months, and the recording propelled the orchestra and its new label to happy success for the next decade or so.
Blumenstock and the Philharmonia Baroque inject these familiar pieces with exceptional dynamism and dramatic force, but without resorting to anything vulgar or cheap. This is honest music-making, allowing us to hear these works as just great, virtuosic violin concertos—and if you doubt their ability to still excite, just listen to the opening Allegro of “L’estate” RV 315, or to the Presto of the same work. Hopefully the fortunes of that earlier Philharmonia Virtuosi release will translate to the same result for this first-rate orchestra, conductor, and soloist. Bravo!
Concerto for Violin in G minor, RV 325by Antonio Vivaldi Performer:
Elizabeth Blumenstock (Violin)
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque Written: Venice, Italy
BrilliantNovember 22, 2011By Frederick Hecht (Scottsdale, AZ)See All My Reviews"Hard to beat! The Philharmonia Baroque under Nic McMegan performs Vivaldi's Four Seasons and more as music of the finest quality for all seasons."Report Abuse