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Vivaldi: The Four Seasons [complete…

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons [complete recordings] (1725)

by Antonio Vivaldi (Composer)

Other authors: Trondheim Soloists (Orchestra), Antonio Vivaldi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (4)  Finnish (1)  All languages (5)
Showing 4 of 4
Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741)

The Four Seasons

Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin
Berliner Philharmoniker
Herbert von Karajan

Recorded: 28 October 1987, Philharmonie, Berlin (Live).

Sony Classical, 2008. [TT 44.09.] Colour. 4:3. Dolby Digital 2.0/5.0. Liner notes by Klaus Geitel.


Twenty-four years after the opening of the Berlin Philharmonie with Beethoven’s Ninth (15 October 1963), this performance of another immortal masterwork inaugurated its chamber hall, a miniature copy of the big one. If you are keen on comparisons, you can compare this interpretation with the recording Karajan and Mutter made (with the Wiener Philharmoniker) three years earlier for EMI. I will only say this one is just as superb artistically and sonically. The sound’s perhaps even more spectacular: no tiny ensembles or limited dynamics for Karajan. The summer storm will have your subwoofer moving, I can assure you. Very well, but what is there to see here, you ask? Well, you can enjoy the sight of Anne-Sophie, young and pretty in a German sort of way, the 55-years-older Karajan conducting from the harpsichord in one of his last video recordings, revealing shots of some programmatic details (e.g. the barking dog, or rather the growling dog, in the violas that open the second movement of the “Spring”), or simply the Berlin strings playing for their lives. As regards the programs, you will have to rely on other editions or the Web. The presentation is typically sparse for the series: neither the titles of the movements nor the sonnets are given anywhere in the booklet or on the DVD itself. This is a pity, for Vivaldi’s ingenuity in translating into music anything from singing birds to chattering teeth is astonishing, but it might be for the best. The Four Seasons certainly works well as absolute music. If you are no fan of scraggy recordings on period instruments, you can’t go wrong with this overtly “Romantic” performance. ( )
  Waldstein | Jul 11, 2016 |
Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741)

The Four Seasons, Op. 8 Nos. 1–4

Concerto No. 1 in E major, RV 269 “Spring”

[1] I. Allegro
[2] II. Largo e pianissimo sempre
[3] III. Allegro
Concerto No. 2 in G minor, RV 315 “Summer”
[4] I. Allegro non molto
[5] II. Adagio
[6] III. Presto
Concerto No. 3 in F major, RV 293 “Autumn”
[7] I. Allegro
[8] II. Adagio molto
[9] III. Allegro
Concerto No. 4 in F minor, RV 297 “Winter”
[10] I. Allegro non molto
[11] II. Largo
[12] III. Allegro

Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin
Wiener Philharmoniker
Herbert von Karajan

Recorded: 6/1984, Zeremoniensaal, Hofburg, Vienna.

EMI Classics, 1998. 41.32. Liner notes by Tully Potter. Sonnets to The Four Seasons (Eng+Ger+Fr+Spa).


This was Karajan’s last recording for EMI. It put an end to nearly 38 years of collaboration, ever since October 1946 though there was fallout in the 1960s, with the second most important label in his career. Truth to tell, I prefer the 1972 recording of The Four Seasons for DG: the sound may be less clear and less sumptuous, but Michel Schwalbé’s rendition of the solo part has a certain panache that Anne-Sophie lacks. That said, and leaving such comparisons to the wisdom of professional critics, this is a lovely recording. Karajan, as usual, uses a relatively large string orchestra and dynamic range that make the purists indignant, but the clarity of execution never suffers from that. Nor does he exaggerate the onomatopoeic moments. He is perfectly supported by the predominantly lyrical interpretation of Anne-Sophie, then still only 20 years old, and the splendid digital sound. The liner notes by Tully Potter provide a nice historical background and the ever-needed appeal for fresh appreciation of this unfortunately popular masterpiece, so perfect as program music, yet so moving as absolute music. Somewhat disappointingly, the booklet lacks the programs that go together with each movement, though the sonnets are decent substitute for that. They are reprinted in four different languages, but the original Italian is not among them. These quibbles aside, this is a strong contender in an awfully crowded field. ( )
  Waldstein | Jul 11, 2016 |
Superb rendering of well known classical music on period instruments ( )
  unclebob53703 | Feb 26, 2016 |
1. Allegro
2. Largo
3. Allegro
4. Allegro non Molto
5. Adagio
6. Presto
7. Allegro
8. Adagio Molto
9. Allegro
10. Allegro non molto
11. Largo
12. Allegro
  chooverwi | Sep 23, 2015 |
Showing 4 of 4
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» Add other authors (58 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Vivaldi, AntonioComposerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chang, Sarahmain authorsome editionsconfirmed
London Chamber OrchestraOrchestramain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trondheim SoloistsOrchestrasecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vivaldi, Antoniosecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fontanarosa, PatricePerformersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maazel, LorinConductorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mutter, Anne-Sophiesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orchestre National de FranceOrchestrasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orpheus Chamber OrchestraOrchestrasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warren-Green, ChristopherConductorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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