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Four Seasons


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Audio CD, February 13, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

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Any new recording of Vivaldi's ubiquitous Four Seasons has to fight the "ho-hum" factor. The catalogue is bursting with recordings of the popular work, including transcriptions for the most improbable instruments. Some of the newer versions, like those by Shaham, Mutter, and Kennedy , fight the "ho-hum" factor with idiosyncratic interpretations. Chung, to her credit, gives a mainline, rather traditional reading that features luscious violinism and apt characterization of Vivaldi's pictorial elements without imposing extreme or anachronistic elements. At times, as in the first movement of "Summer," her quiet playing is ravishing, while the fast movements go like the wind. The string ensemble backing her plays with spirited warmth and, unlike many rival recordings, the violin is not thrust into unnatural prominence. While Chung easily overcomes the "ho-hum" factor, EMI fumbled the ball by not adding fillers--a 41-minute CD is hard to justify these days. --Dan Davis

1. Con in E, Op.8 No.1 'Spring': I. Allegro
2. Con in E, Op.8 No.1 'Spring': II. Largo
3. Con in E, Op.8 No.1 'Spring': III. Allegro
4. Con in g, Op.8 No.2 'Summer': I. Allegro Non Molto
5. Con in g, Op.8 No.2 'Summer': II. Adagio
6. Con in g, Op.8 No.2 'Summer': III. Presto
7. Con in F, Op.8 No.3 'Autumn': I. Allegro
8. Con in F, Op.8 No.3 'Autumn': II. Adagio Molto
9. Con in F, Op.8 No.3 'Autumn': III. Allegro
10. Con in f, Op.8 No.4 'Winter': I. Allegro Non Molto
11. Con in f, Op.8 No.4 'Winter': II. Largo
12. Con in f, Op.8 No.4 'Winter': III. Allegro

Product Details

  • Performer: Kyung-Wha Chung, St Luke's Chamber Ensemble
  • Composer: Antonio Vivaldi
  • Audio CD (February 13, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B000055WFE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,810 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Passionate Eclectic_Collector on August 5, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Why did Kyung Wha Chung make this CD? She has produced recorded performances of legendary artistry, such as the Mendelssohn with Dutoit, the Sibelius Tchaikovsy Bruch (& Scottish Fantasy) with Previn, the Bruch and Beethoven with Tennstedt, and the fabulous Bartok 2 and Brahms with Sir Simon Rattle. Also there is the exquisite Franck Sonata with Radu Lupu.
Meanwhile, the 4 seasons has over the years endured all sorts of pillage and torture, the likes of Nigel Kennedy making mavericke with it etc. So, why did this legend in her own lifetime decide to record these concerti? After listening to this CD over and over, the answer is crystal clear. This is purely and simply an opportunity for magical music-making. Playing Vivaldi with sparklingly unmannered joy shows just how wonderful and fresh this music can be. Listen to the first movement of Winter - a perfectly glacial display of immaculate articulation, but never devoid of feeling. In short, an ensemble performance without exaggeration, without oversentimentalising, but delicious.
My favourite performance till now has been the silvery classics for pleasure version with Kenneth Sillito, now sadly deleted. This new release by Kyung Wha Chung has some of the same spontaneity, and is a very good choice. A pity it's full price, it could have been offered with additional material. Nevertheless, this is one disc you will listen to again and again.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 19, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I have heard and I own many great performances of The Four Seasons including Gil Shaham, Claudio Scimone and Neville Mariner. But Kyun Wha Chung's new recording of the Four Seaons became my instant favorite. I have never heard any Four Seasons this intense and this animated and yet stylistically correct. This, certainly, is not a dinner music or a background music. But start this CD, lie in your bathtub and close your eyes. You will live four seasons in forty minutes.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By chung che kim on April 2, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Kyung-Wha chung offer a superly imaginative version
of Vivaldi's Four season on modern instruments. The solo playing
is powerful and warmly expressive. Some collectors will find
full price a bit steep for 41 minutes, however excellent
performance and recording.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 18, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This was the first recording of the Four Seasons for me, and I found it absolutely fascinating. As Kyung Wha Chung played the Four Seasons, it caught my attention right away. The softness in the slow passages and the power and intensity in fast movements combine to create a nice CD for you to listen to, especially if you have a good understanding of classical music. I personally didn't understand people who disliked this recording(no offense), because I liked this recording and it instantly became my favorite. Maybe I need to listen to other versions of the Four Seasons, but I would definitely recommend this for just about anyone who likes to listen to classical music. It would be a nice gift as well.
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