The Four Seasons of Camille & Julie
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons; plus works by JS Bach, Monti, Piazzolla, Schubert, Karl Jenkins and John Williams
Camille Berthollet (violin, cello) Julie Berthollet (cello etc), et al; Orchestre d’Auvergne/Roberto Fores Veses
Warner Classics 9029683900 71:51 mins
Known in France as the ‘prodigy sisters’, Camille and Julie Berthollet shot to fame as teenagers following Camille’s triumph in a television talent competition, Prodiges, in 2014. Promptly signed by Warner, Camille has since recorded a number of well-received discs with her sister which showcase their considerable flair as multi-instrumentalists: Julie is a violinist, violist and pianist, while Camille is a violinist and cellist.
This new release is something of a mixed bag, however, and the power of the sisters’ indisputable talent is diluted by some baffling repertoire choices. At the heart of the disc is an exuberant interpretation of Vivaldi‘s The Four Seasons which features both sisters as solo violinist (Camille takes ‘Spring’ and ‘Summer’, Julie takes ‘Autumn’ and ‘Winter’). The performances may not be to all tastes – there are some truly breakneck tempos – but both soloists bring spirit, poise and a joyful lack of pretension to the work. There follow three individual movements from Vivaldi’s L’estro armónico with Camille as violin soloist and the strings of the orchestra on particularly spritely form.
The last third of the disc comprises a hotchpotch of unabashedly popular works including John Williams’s Schindler’s List theme and a movement from Karl Jenkins’s catchy but inane Palladio. Each of these tracks is performed competently but these bits and bobs feel like something of an easy grab for popularity and can’t help but undermine the substance and value of this otherwise commendable disc.