LABELS: Deutsche Grammophon
ALBUM TITLE: Vivaldi
WORKS: The Four Seasons; plus works by JS Bach, Brahms, Frahm, Gonzales, Molter, Rameau, M Richter, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Twin and Weill
PERFORMER: Daniel Hope (violin), Claudio Bohórquez (cello), Jane Berthe (harp), Dom Bouffard (electric guitar), Jacques Ammon, Chilly Gonzales (piano), Naoki Kitaya (organ), Anna Lucia Richter (soprano)
CATALOGUE NO: DG 479 6922
Violinist Daniel Hope first considered a programme inspired by seasonality two decades ago. Over time, the concept has matured into For Seasons, a fascinating curation of both visual and musical pieces connected to spring, summer, autumn and winter. Naturally, Vivaldi’s great masterpiece is the bedrock of the collection, performed here with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. Hope knows The Four Seasons intimately; his interpretation is characterful and bold. The concertos introduce an aural depiction of their namesakes, and set the tone for the following repertoire.
Hope then describes the seasons at micro level: the year is split into four groups with individual pieces dedicated to a particular month. The beautiful liner notes – featuring 12 specially commissioned images – are colour-coded to echo this categorisation. The disc includes ‘Spring’ from Max Richter’s Vivaldi Recomposed; a reimagining of The Four Seasons that Hope premiered in the UK in 2012 and released via DG in 2014. It also features arrangements of ‘June’ from Tchaikovsky’s The Seasons and September Song by Kurt Weill. More subtle connections can be found in Ambre (Nils Frahm), ‘Am leuchtenden Sommermorgen’ from Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Amazing Grace – a performance that regrettably dilutes an otherwise exciting and original record.