Notes and Editorial Reviews
Here's a delicious novelty that will appeal to fans of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. Nicolas Chedeville (1705-82) took the Italian composer's Op. 8 concertos, not merely the "big four", and created a new seasonal cycle out of them, including "The Pleasures of Summer", "The Harvest", and "The Pleasures of the Festival of St. Martin"--six concertos in all, arranged from various movements of the original. In fact, only Vivaldi's "Spring" is used in its entirety. "Summer", with its creepy harmonies, is omitted completely, while the outer movements of "Autumn" embrace the central largo from "Winter". All of the remaining
material is borrowed from other concertos in the collection, the emphasis being not on Vivaldi's thunderstorm and blizzards, but rather on the pastoral elements: the hunt, dancing, and the tranquility of nature.
In order to emphasize the music's "new look", Chedeville simplified some of the harmonies and arranged the solo parts for violin, recorder, and (believe it or not) hurdy-gurdy, whose curious buzzing penetrates the textures cleanly and prevents these gentle arrangements from becoming soporific. It's great fun, and the players of Les Eclairs de Musique clearly have a good time projecting the often enchanting sonorities that Chedeville creates from his small but timbrally varied ensemble. The sonics are gorgeous: warmly natural and perfectly in balance, with a certain mellow atmosphere that ideally suits these arrangements. With Vivaldi's The Four Seasons still being adapted today for everything from Japanese Koto ensemble to (most recently and grotesquely) a bunch of tooting ocarinas, it's fascinating to learn just how far back the process actually goes, and to hear how imaginatively it can be done. A real novelty.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Les Saisons amusantes by Nicolas Chédeville
Les Eclairs de Musique
Written: by 1748; France
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