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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I rented this video many years ago and am glad to see it available for purchase. It plays Vivaldi's four seasons on Japanese instruments giving it an exotic flavor without changing the classic tone. I love the pseudo-storyline with the geisha and all the festivals used to add to the exotic feel. There's an eeriness to Vivaldi's music, making it haunting rather than soothing when played on these instruments. A perfect addition to the floating world.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2009
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This is a re-master of the original DVD which has been sold out for more than a year. I am a Fischer fan, so I am very relief that it is being released again.

Aside from the funny costume for both Julia and the members of St. Martin-In-The-Fields, the music is Divine. It actually should be released as a audio CD and not a visual DVD, as the music is fantastic, but the directing is...no comment.

The production was first recorded in 2001, so it was done when Julia was quite young, and this is what makes it amazing. At such a tender age, the mastery and the artistry of her musical talent is oozing out already. She plays it without Sir Neville Mariner conducting and the concerto came out beautifully.

In the DVD, the Winter is absolutely serenely beautiful until the tempest come and gone, then it becomes picturesque again.

The glass structure, in case anybody interested, is in England designed by the world famous architect of Norman Foster.

The is a DVD that is worth keeping. I have been waiting for more than a year for this and now I am happy.

I would highly recommend this to you if you are a Julia Fischer fan.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Antonio Vivaldi's The 4 Seasons are familiar concertos that are brought to life as sights are captured in the city of Venice. The pace of the music seems perfect for strolling at home on your treadmill as you dissolve into the atmosphere of Venice and wander across bridges, take a ride in a gondola and watch a storm approaching as the sky darkens. The seasons are beautifully portrayed with plenty of attention given to breathtaking scenic views of the water and city from all angles. Fisherman work on their boats and a violin maker sands pieces of wood to perfection. City life, parades, people meeting along the street, artists and craftsman at work gives this a realistic and wistful mood. At one point you are wandering along walkways with tourists and the next you are experiencing the romance of the season. Each vision brings unique moods as the city moves from a bustling tourist attraction to a cold silent winter.

~The Rebecca Review
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2000
Format: VHS TapeVerified Purchase
To hear The Four Seasons played on traditional Japanese instruments is to hear it in an intirely new way. If you didn't know better you would swear it had been written for them. The visuals are wonderful and reminiscent of The Makioka Sisters (a must-see also, especially if you love kimono)but with more music.The festivals and such things as the paper boats that you can see light through are startling in their beauty. The almost-story will haunt you and make you think more than if it were more explicit. This is truly outside-the-box viewing, but it has given me years of pleasure.
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on August 24, 2014
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I began this review with a four star rating. As I wrote, I realized that was unfair. To see and hear Julia Fischer perform Vivaldi's classic is, for me, alone worth five stars. The cinematography is a wonder in itself. I felt the numerous camera angles and changes enhanced the viewing experience. I found myself entranced by the close-ups of finger work and strings one would never have an opportunity to experience. Ah, but therein lay the seed of my personal conflict which gave rise to my original four stars. I found my attention split between performance and technology. The performance is so good it may easily have overtaken any distraction. But then there are the changes in clothes and lighting between "the seasons" which I could have done without. I doubt this would be a problem to an audience more accustomed to video performances. I believe enough has been said elsewhere about the excellent choice of the Botanical Gardens setting that doesn't need repeating(or did I just do that?).

Regardless, the performance is a beautiful work of art on many levels. I look forward to many viewings and sharing same with friends.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2010
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I had a previous version of this concert in the past, so was surprised that Vivaldi's masterpiece had been downgraded to Dolby 4.0 surround from 5.1 on older version. Picture is amazing though. The same terrific musicians guided by German diva. This one is the best version of the "Four Seasons" I have ever heard. I don't have any objections of what Julia wears, although there were some negative comments about her dresses. To tell you the truth, I don't care. Music is what important here and how all musicians follow Julia's directions. Five stars no matter what. My home theatre system handles it very well, and is pretty much happy with Dolby 4.0 sound, so am I.
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on March 22, 2014
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
a first class performance from one of the most competent violinists today ... its just a pity for some viewers that artists such as this do not record more for avid DVD enthusiasts
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on October 2, 2013
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Incredible playing, amazing outdoor setting, classical music doesn't get any better than this.
Julia Fischer has to be seen to be believed. Timeless.
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on January 1, 2015
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
It's the sort of dvd to play when you just want to relax after a day at work or on a weekend evening. Julia Fischer offers a wonderful performance of the four seasons and the videography splices her performance with scenes of each season. Tranquil and refreshing.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2010
Format: VHS TapeVerified Purchase
I remember when I first bought the this special back in 1985 when I was in Japan for the first time, and each time that when I visit Japan, that I always pulled this special. Well some how I misplace the tape, and I was looking for another copy, and found one. Even though its at least 25 years that it is still fresh, the colors, the city, the seasons, and the music in Koto music playing Vivaldi, at each season well. My favorite season was the winter scene, very colorful, and still one of the best travel videos of Japan.. I wish that this special was on DVD. But seeing on tape that I am very please of the tape. And it is a Masterpeice
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