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81 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece deconstructed and elevated!
This sounds like complete blasphemy. Vivaldi's Four Seasons suite is a monument of classical music. It is a pillar of human art, so to have a young pup come along and pull it apart is enough for any fan, however casual, to start fuming in anger. What will stay the mob's pitchforks is the knowledge that said "pup" is Max Richter, nothing if not a sensitive, soulful artist,...
Published on October 18, 2012 by Seeker of Good Things

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Music is ok. Box damaged
Jascha Heifetz remarked that he listens to contemporary music to let the composer know that: please, don't write it anymore. It's ok a to try new things, but please don't destroy a perfect piece of "architecture"...I consider l listened to a piece of experimental music.
The cd box was missing a piece. Amazon, please check merchant before shipping, I think...
Published 21 months ago by Edwin A. Yang


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81 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece deconstructed and elevated!, October 18, 2012
This review is from: Recomposed by Max Richter - Vivaldi:The Four Seasons (Audio CD)
This sounds like complete blasphemy. Vivaldi's Four Seasons suite is a monument of classical music. It is a pillar of human art, so to have a young pup come along and pull it apart is enough for any fan, however casual, to start fuming in anger. What will stay the mob's pitchforks is the knowledge that said "pup" is Max Richter, nothing if not a sensitive, soulful artist, whose track record consists almost exclusively of touching people's souls with little more than a violin. This is not Philip Glass deconstructing David Bowie.

Over 13 tracks (the 12 months and a short overture), Max Richter samples Vivaldi, sometimes faintly, sometimes closely, either distilling or expanding familiar pieces into something new, yet familiar, that adds a new layer to a masterpiece without detracting from the original. And what Max Richter brings to the table proves a game-changer, at least to this listener: he gives this music an aching heart. Vivaldi's originals are unique, brilliant, technical masterpieces, but sometimes, even in their best interpretations, they leave you cold, too admiring of their structural brilliance to be moved in a primal way. Richter collapses the distance and makes the 4 Seasons intimate, heartfelt.

If you have even the remotest interest in classical, orchestral or even minimalist music, you owe it to yourself to hear this. At the very least it will be an interesting experiment, but if you open up to it, it will haunt you long after the last note fades to silence.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This one deserves a listen, October 20, 2012
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This review is from: Recomposed by Max Richter - Vivaldi:The Four Seasons (Audio CD)
This is an absolute delight! If you have an open mind and realize that this is, and is supposed to be, entirely different composition than the original Four Seasons you will not be disappointed. Yes, one can pick out a hint of the original masterpiece here and there, but this piece can and does stand on it's own. I buy a lot of music and I will not write a review because so much of this is a matter of taste. But I think this piece deserves a listen.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quintessential Vivaldi, November 3, 2012
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This review is from: Recomposed by Max Richter - Vivaldi:The Four Seasons (Audio CD)
Whether out of pure curiosity or out of admiration for the Vivaldi's Four Seasons or because of admiration for Daniel Hope's violin virtuosity - or even perhaps an admirer of Max Richter, this new creation is something that is a `must hear', `must own.' This is one of the most pleasant surprises of the year - a second look at the famous Vivaldi work that we all know and love. The primary genius behind this venture is new-music maestro Max Richter, a German born British composer who studied composition and piano at University of Edinburgh, the Royal Academy of Music and with Luciano Berio in Florence. After finishing his studies, Richter co-founded the contemporary classical ensemble Piano Circus. He stayed with the group for ten years, commissioning and performing works by Arvo Pärt, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Julia Wolfe and Steve Reich. And now Richter turns to the past and brings us the well-known Four Seasons with a spring-cleaning.

Adding a `prelude' to the original beginning of the work, Richter lets the mood of a shimmering, almost popping out of the bud Spring by juxtaposing electronic and acoustic strings and then gradually after 42 seconds the opening of Vivaldi's work begins. Daniel Hope is the gifted performer here with the Konzerthaus Kammerorchester Berlin conducted by Andre de Ridder. What happens as we progress through spring and summer and autumn to winter is a sifting through the extraneous portions of these works to simplify and make the solo violin lines more elegant and atmospheric. No, it does not come across as a `Stokowski rethinks Bach' extravaganza - quite the opposite. This is crystalline pure Vivaldi polished to a fair-thee-well by Richter. According to Richter, `"The Four Seasons is something we all carry around with us. It's just everywhere. In a way, we stop being able to hear it. So this project is about reclaiming this music for me personally, by getting inside it and rediscovering it for myself - and taking a new path through a well-known landscape.' The result is full of charm, exquisitely played, and makes the entire sequence of seasons comes refreshingly alive. Grady Harp, November 12
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great surprise, May 16, 2013
I have many years buying music, nearly 40.

First, and once again vynils, then cd's also, sacds. My collection is about ten thousand recorded items.

In these times is almost impossible for me to find something I could call marvellous and innovative...and most of all, something good enough to call my full attention.

This cd, did it in a very great and original way.

This vynil, I have it in both formats, is one of the greatest musical discoveries of my life.

Is a very clever...even genius insolent work.

I'm certain that the Red Priest, Antonio Vivaldi would celebrate it as much as I have...if he could live in this century.

Od course that is just a guess. Any way I love this work by Max Richter.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazingly brilliant interpretation of a famously beautiful piece of music, April 20, 2013
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I listen to the piece all the time so much so that I have to be careful not to overplay it when I’m teaching my ballet classes. I heard some of Richter’s Four Seasons on the radio as part of an interview with the composer. He said he had always loved Vivaldi’s Four Seasons but he had heard it so many times in his life that the piece was becoming hard to enjoy. He went on to say he wanted to restore his love of the piece and feels by recomposing Vivaldi it was sort of “an act of love toward this fantastic masterpiece.” I was very interesting in hearing the whole piece since I had had the same experience with the music, hearing it and dancing the ballet over the years. I didn’t buy the CD right away but the music kept creeping back into my mind until I had to order it. Richter’s version is fascinating and hauntingly beautiful without losing the original exquisiteness of Vivaldi’s music. I have discussed Richter’s Four Seasons with my students and they not only love dancing to it but are now also interested in listening to Vivaldi’s original work. Richter made the Four Season come alive again and it makes me listen to the original in a fresh way.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely "Borrowed", October 22, 2012
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"Good composers borrow. Bad composers steal." This quip has been attributed to several different composers. They probably all stole it from each other ... or maybe they borrowed it from each other. I don't know; I'm a bad composer at my best. But, let's talk about this disc. Well ... let's talk about it later.

Back in the days before copyrights it was common practice for a composer to take a theme that he/she liked and rework it into a new composition. Bach did it all the time; Wachet Auf, Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor,.. the list could go on too long. Handel not only did this but took it to extremes and actually stole whole works and affixed his name to the original. (He was caught one time and his justification was "It was too good for _____" [I've forgotten the plagiarized composer's name. It was no one I had ever heard of.])Well, let's think of Bach and not Handel right now. It was common practice for a composer to do this type of thing. That is what Max Richter has done with Vivaldi's 4 Seasons. It truly is "recomposed". It is a new work based on the Vivaldi Masterwork. Vivaldi's themes run throughout this new work but it is mostly Max Richter's new composition here.

So; you love the original 4 Seasons? Who doesn't? Will you like/love this recomposition? Yes, IF you can accept the use of Vivaldi's 4 Seasons only as a starting point for a new and different composition. If you think Vivaldi's work is carved in stone and should only be played the way he wrote it, do yourself and everyone else within earshot of your kvetching a favor and just stay away from this disc. Personally, I really like it and I'm only on my second listening. Next stop: search the internet and see if I can find a score to buy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rewarding Rework, November 26, 2012
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"Recomposed" is not "The Four Seasons," nor is it meant to be. If you can embrace this fact, you will likely enjoy this album. Richter has lifted -- sometimes heavily, sometimes not -- from Vivaldi's grand work and made it his own. It is a fun, rewarding listen.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice crossover experience, with entertaining musical ideas, while not reaching beyond movie music, January 8, 2013
The lead reviewer calls Vivaldi's evergreen Four Seasons "a pillar of human art," perhaps allowing for genius in chimpanzee or elephant art. The brilliant and dashing score has devolved into elevator music, so it wasn't a long stretch for the British film composer Max Richter to turn it into movie music. That's essentially what we have here. Easy-listen chords, chugging rhythms, minimalist bass lines, and a good deal of the original solo figuration for the violin soloist.

When Alfred Schnittke pursued a blend of Baroque and modernist styles in his various Concerti Grossi, prominently championed by Gidon Kremer, the platform of 18th-century gestures underlay Schnittke's challenging ideas. The Baroque was truly transformed, with remarkable results. the listener was compelled to hear the clash of two eras but also their underlying sympathies. Here, however, we just get a bright coat of paint. richter's score resembles another that owes much to John Adams-style minimalism, A Beautiful Mind, composed by the proficient James Horner.

Richter has the advantage of co-opting a very famous piece, and he makes good use of changing moods as the seasons progress. Everything is pleasant and falls engagingly on the ear. I'd put the piece in the same enjoyable category as The Red Violin or The Butterfly Concerto, so far as crossover violin works go. Daniel Hope , like Joshua Bell, moves smoothly into the genre - he also makes "real" vivaldi recordings - and has achieved a pop success. for me, one listen did the job.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Music is ok. Box damaged, March 20, 2013
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Jascha Heifetz remarked that he listens to contemporary music to let the composer know that: please, don't write it anymore. It's ok a to try new things, but please don't destroy a perfect piece of "architecture"...I consider l listened to a piece of experimental music.
The cd box was missing a piece. Amazon, please check merchant before shipping, I think there some of us buying cd instead of digital on ipod is to collect them. Of course Amazon has good customer service policies, but it's time consuming to return things.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing vinyl quality., March 28, 2013
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The composition was all I expected and more except for
the crackle and constant blips and noise was the quality of a very old vinyl.
The second hand vinyl I have brought on Amazon is far better than this.
I am absolutely disappointed with the quality of vinyl form a renown label as Deutsche Grammophon.
I took it to my turntable shop to have it played, they concluded it sounded like reprocessed vinyl.
I should return it but as the first copy sent never arrived I am nervous to do so.
Please advise if I have a single bad copy and if so what I should do about it.
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