Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

LABELS: Teldec Das Alte Werk
WORKS: The Four Seasons
PERFORMER: Alice Harnoncourt (violin) Concentus Musicus Wien/Nikolaus Harnoncourt
CATALOGUE NO: 4509-93267-2 ADD (1977)
This is stabbing, gut-Vivaldi. By using small forces and treating the violin virtually as a member of the ensemble, Harnoncourt brings out just what an avant-garde figure the musical ‘Red Priest’ was in his day . The result is a far cry from more populist four-seasonal mush. He offers not four, but six, of the dozen Op. 8 concertos – and the extra pair is worth hearing. But the sound is distinctly better with headphones than without, and some sudden transitions feel too much like engineered ones. Roderic Dunnett