Vivaldi: Four Seasons
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So, just what makes McGegan's realizations any different from the 800 other versions you'll find on disc? Well, to begin with, these are not cushy, comfortable renditions, nor are they hell-bent-for-leather speed demons. In fact, McGegan generates fairly conventional tempos and sticks with the correct number of players indicated by the scores. No, the things that make McGegan's Vivaldi performances different and better than most others lie in his phrasing, his emphases, his attack, and his choice of dynamic contrasts. These are not timid readings but enthusiastically thrustful ones. If your idea of a great Four Seasons interpretation lies in its ability to make the listener actually hear and visualize the various times of the year, with all their attendant features, then McGegan's renditions with the Philharmonia Baroque are among the best-characterized ones currently before the public. You'll hear the yelping dogs, you'll feel the icy rain, and you'll be thoroughly entertained. If you're merely looking for another piece of Baroque background music to play at your next dinner party, forgetaboutit.
With all the talk about the works' graphic representations of the changes of the year, we tend sometimes to overlook the fact that each of The Four Seasons concertos is a three-movement piece for solo violin with orchestral accompaniment. In this regard, the various works not only set a pioneering standard for program music but for instrumental concertos as well.Read more ›
But after reading a recent glowing review of this CD in one of the prominent audiophile magazines, I decided to give it a try. I can only say that the review was right on, this is a splendid CD, produced very well, the music played with a clarity I have not heard from any other Vivaldi, the skills of the musicians superb, and the detail from the period instruments sounds magnificent. If this CD does not get a listener interested in Vivaldi, or classical music, for that matter, no CD can. I know that this CD will be listened to often, it is that good. My recommendation is to anyone -- give this CD a try, put it into your player, turn up the volume, sit back and get comfortable in the sweet spot, prepare yourself for a real concert, and let yourself just get behind the sounds and wrapped into the musical presentation. This is classical music enjoyment at its best. It is how classical music on CDs should be recorded and produced.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this based on the many reviews of so called aficionados of Vivaldi's work who said this was the truest to his original work... no interpretations and so on. Read morePublished 20 months ago by landshart2
I found the CD to be lacking in interpretation, production values and engineering. For an audiophile CD, I'd look elsewherePublished 21 months ago by L. Hardy
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