Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

Album review
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons


The Four Seasons

Label: CPO
Media: LP
Genre: Classical

Since its founding in 1986, CPO has issued hundreds of superlative first-ever CDs of little-known classical music— mostly late-Romantic and modern-era works—that have much enlarged the recorded repertoire and brought joy to adventurous music lovers like me. Now this German label ventures into a “new” format: vinyl. The repertoire is both old and new: Vivaldi’s ever-popular Four Seasons, here in the first recording of a new arrangement which—following common practice in Vivaldi’s day—re-scores the work for different instrumental forces, adding winds (recorders, oboes, horns, and bassoons) to the original string-only ensemble. The result adds color to an already exuberantly vibrant and pictorial score. The sinewy, penetrating period- style strings of L’Arte dell’Arco are joined by recorders tootling out birdcalls in verdant “Spring,” bassoons intoning solemn pedal-points in drowsy-then- stormy “Summer,” and horns sounding hunting-calls in vigorous “Autumn.” Only sere, blustery winter is left in its original strings-only dress (for reasons of authenticity explained in the liner notes). Soloist (and conductor) Federico Guglielmo plays with fiery abandon, and CPO’s sonics are detailed, immediate, and lively. Also available on CD. 

More Info

  • composer, Vivaldi
  • primary artist, L'Arte dell'Arco
  • primary artist, Guglielmo
  • LP

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