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Four Seasons: The Vivaldi Album

66 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 4, 2014
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Editorial Reviews

In January of 2013, Anne Akiko Meyers was awarded exclusive lifetime use of the legendary 1741 Vieuxtemps Guarneri del Gesu, which has been dubbed the Mona Lisa of violins. It is legendary for its peerless sound and near-pristine condition, and is believed to be the most expensive violin ever purchased.

The violin has been guarded for centuries, and has not been in the recording studio until now.

Composed around 1723, The Four Seasons is today one of the most beloved musical compositions. Originally written and performed by Vivaldi and the chamber orchestra he formed at a girls orphanage in Venice, these concerti were largely forgotten after the composer s death until their rediscovery in the 1920s and subsequent recording in the 50s. A set of sonnets, likely penned by Vivaldi himself, accompany the score and describe the natural settings that inspired the music.

This album follows Ms. Meyers chart-topping eOne releases including Air: The Bach Album one of the top-selling classical albums of 2012 as well as Seasons...dreams and Smile.

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Product Details

  • Performer: Anne Akiko Meyers
  • Orchestra: English Chamber Orchestra
  • Conductor: David Lockington
  • Composer: Antonio Vivaldi
  • Audio CD (February 4, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Entertainment One
  • ASIN: B00H47IVO4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,582 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By John J. Puccio TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 10, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Although Vivaldi wrote hundreds of pieces of music, folks probably recognize him best for The Four Seasons, the little three-movement tone poems with their chirping birds, galumphing horses, barking dogs, dripping icicles, and howling winds. The composer meant them to accompany descriptive sonnets, making up the first four concertos of a longer work he wrote in 1723 titled Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione ("The Contest between Harmony and Invention"). Most people hardly remember the other concertos in the set.

Under Ms. Meyer, the familiar Spring concerto is appropriately cheerful, made even more so due to the violinist not overdoing anything in the piece. You won't find any exaggerated tempos (although hers are quick and spirited in a refined manner); no unusual dynamic contrasts; no extraordinary slowing down or speeding up for dramatic effect. Ms. Meyers keeps everything moving along at a fairly conventional, though stimulating pace. It's probably the way most listeners want their Seasons--enjoyably colorful and invigorating, without being annoyingly different just for the sake of being different. The Largo, with its meadows and fields, sounds properly peaceful, yet it never lags. And the final Allegro capers along cheerfully.

Throughout all of the music, Ms. Meyers's violin sounds exquisitely gorgeous in tone and playing, and Maestro Lockington's accompaniment with the ECO is precise and agreeable.

Summer gets an even more highly characterized reading than Spring, with the season's heat oppressive, the birds chatty, the wind picking up nicely, and the threat of storm just a tad menacing. When the summer storm does arrive, it does so in a whirlwind of energy. Very invigorating.

Ms.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Steve49w on February 4, 2014
Format: Audio CD
It is no secret that i am a huge fan of Anne Akiko Meyers. When I heard that she would be recording the Four Seasons I knew that i would purchase it, but to be honest I didn't anticipate that it would be so much better than the ones that I have in my collection. Her interpretations are far different than all of the ones that mimic all of the other recordings. Her tone on the newest violin (that Guarnari del Gesu, rumored to be the world's most valuable) is perfect for this set of concertos. Her phrasing is unique and very much idiosyncratic. I appreciated the inclusion of the Arvo Part Passacaglia that separated the Triple Concerto from the Four Seasons. Anne was able to over dub all three parts of the Triple Concerto herself. It was very impressive and made the performance sound more unified in its execution. 5 star review is to low. but Amazon does not allow eleventy-billion stars.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Joe Frazier on February 5, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Anne Akiko Meyers does it once again; she takes well know works and breathes new life into them. One such work is Antonio Vivaldi's Le Quattro Stagioni (The Four Seasons). This is not only part of the main repertoire of many chamber orchestras but parts of it have been heard in movies, soundtracks and outdoor cafés. It begs the question, why another recording? I can think of three reasons - it's a lovely piece and deserves to be recorded repeatedly and Ms. Meyers, along with David Lockington and the English Chamber Orchestra bring a unique realization to the piece and, finally, in this recording, there is this tone that comes out, from time to time, that is lyrical, haunting and sends an exquisite thrill through you. That is to say, magic occurs.

For full review: wp.me/p2XCwQ-w8
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jacqueline on March 1, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I don't know much about the Ms Meyers, the violin, or the piece she is playing. In fact, this is the first classical CD I have ever purchased. I think I spent my money well.
While at work, on an Army Base, I play this CD very softly at my desk. I noticed several young soldiers, and a few old soliders, asking me about what I was playing. They enjoyed the beautiful playing as much as I.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Maria on February 4, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've been waiting for this recording to show up for weeks, I pre-ordered with great anticipation. Now that I finally have it in my hands, I'm not disappointed. Quite to the contrary, I'm wholeheartedly thrilled with this addition to my music library. The sound of this disc sparkles, and the spirited performances make me want to get up and dance. This isn't your grandmother's performance of the Four Seasons. It's informed by many different approaches -- lushly passionate at times, starkly cold at others, depicting the music of the seasons brilliantly. This is now my go-to performance for the Four Seasons.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. C on February 5, 2014
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I have always loved "The Four Seasons" and this album does not disappoint. Anne Akiko Meyers is on top of her game. Best recording that I've heard.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By music7lover on February 4, 2014
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The sound of Meyers' violin and the brilliant renditions of the Vivaldi Four Seasons, Triple Concerto are a total adrenaline rush. It sparkles and sizzles and the hushed sections are soulful and poetic. My all time favorite violinist! Thank you for an incredibly beautiful recording, notes, pictures are amazing too...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marie Tordenskjold on April 11, 2014
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SUPERB! There is a back story to this violin...an NPR article you can google...fascinating. What a spectacular sound, what a spectacular performance. I can't say the word 'spectacular' enough here....
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