Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Gramophone Magazine, February 2013
Hope and the Berlin Konzerthaus Chamber ORchestra turn in spotless perofrmances of what amounts to a pleasant-sounding yet essentially faceless deconstruction of The Four Seasons.
The Independent, 4th November 2012
Richter slips softly back and forth between writing art music and film scores. Here, Vivaldi's harmonies are slowed to one or two chords per movement and melodic fragments are frozen and filleted.
The Times, 27th October 2012
I anticipated hating this postmodern reworking of The Four Seasons by the film composer Max Richter. But it is so wittily done that I was gripped, if not quite enchanted.
Antonio Vivaldi's Le Quattro Stagioni is one of the most beloved works in Baroque music, and even the most casual listener can recognize certain passages of Spring or Winter from frequent use in television commercials and films. Yet if these concertos have grown a little too familiar to experienced classical fans, Max Richter has disassembled them and fashioned a new composition from the deconstructed pieces. Using post-minimalist procedures to extract fertile fragments and reshape the materials into new music, Richter has created an album that speaks to a generation familiar with remixes, sampling, and sound collages, though his method transcends the manipulation of prerecorded music. Richter has actually rescored the Four Seasons and given the movements of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter thorough makeovers that vary substantially from the originals. The new material is suggestive of a dream state, where drifting phrases and recombined textures blur into walls of sound, only to re-emerge with stark clarity and poignant immediacy. Violinist Daniel Hope is the brilliant soloist in these freshly elaborated pieces, and the Konzerthaus Kammerorchester Berlin is conducted with control and assurance by André de Ridder, so Richter's carefully calculated effects are handled with precision and subtlety. Deutsche Grammophon's stellar reproduction captures the music with great depth, breadth, and spaciousness, so everything Richter and de Ridder intended to be heard comes across. ~ Blair Sanderson