Vivaldi: The Four Seasons; Fabio Biondi & Europa Galante

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Product Description

Is there any way a violinist can make Vivaldi's Four Seasons not sound like elevator music nowadays? Judging by this release, the answer is "yes." Fabio Biondi leads his Europa Galante in crisp performances which do not distort the music either dynamically or rhythmically, and his playing is so clear, clean and clever that you'll hear new things amidst music you thought you, yourself, could play in your sleep. The storm is surprisingly stormy without being exaggerated, for instance, and the dance-like opening to Autumn is positively toe-tapping. The harpsichord which opens "Winter" is bone-chilling and the pizzicato strings in its second movement--taken quickly--are nicely brittle. Biondi emphasizes the lower strings elsewhere so that we experience a texture not often noticed, but obviously present. The CD is filled out with the almost equally famous "La tempersta del mare" concerto and three from "L'estro armonico," all played with the same determination and excellence. A glorious disc. --Robert Levine

Customer Reviews:

  • Smart. Sexy. Stylish.
    Baroque music, as I have said before and will say again, demands authentic instruments to be brought to life. I also think a healthy dose of improvisational ornamentation should be added to the playing. Here you get both, and the latter in a heavy sum.

    It's fun and invigorating. The tempos in some of the faster passages, especially the Presto from "Summer," are reminiscent of a performance I heard lead by Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg years ago. People forget that Baroque was originally an insult, meaning that the music was over the top. It eventually became the best way to describe this glorious music.

    In true Baroque fashion, this recording is indeed over the top, and not to be missed....more info
  • A pleasur
    Elegant, Nerve wrecking, mysterious, intelligent and gentle. All in one.
    Unbeatable (for now).
    Bravo ...more info
  • Great
    It is just great. I love it. Recommended to everybody who wants to hear the real Vivaldi....more info
  • Horrific!
    This is the worst rendition of the Four Seasons I have heard! To make your
    ears bleed play track 6, which finishes Summer. It should have a quick and sweeping feel with a lot of dynamic depth; but this version is way too fast and 2-dimensional as a result. To hear the dynamic depth (soft to loud) I mentioned, listen to the same track played by Itzhak Perlman. Perlman's will seem very slow compared to this version, but that is because of how exceedingly fast this recording is. To prove that, listen to several other Four Seasons recordings track 6 and you will find Perlman is more consistent with other renditions. This recording however seems to be an obvious attempt at a skilled musician's desire to highlight his own technical ability rather than faithfully convey what the composer intended. It also seems that the tone of the violin in this recording is off too; like as if the strings are too tight. This reduces the vibrancy of the instrument which gives life to the sound. If you strictly want an adrenaline rush, this one may be to your liking; but if you want something more accurate look elsewhere. ...more info
  • Wonderful rendition
    I heard this on Sirrius radio and had to pull over so that I could write down the title. Some of it is over the top, but I have not been this interested in the Four Seasons in a long time!...more info
  • Must Buy
    When I fisrt heard in my car,I got tears in my eyes.(but I can still drove :))very touching...
    I bought two copies,one for my mother and one for myself....more info
  • Blown Away
    There are hardly words that can describe this amazing recording.Yes, I too, stopped my car in order to absorb the moment of music. My congratulations to Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante, who possess an astonishingly unique ability to access the composer and the instrument. Bravo, triple bravo!

    ...more info


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