- Nigel Kennedy (Violin)
Notes & Reviews:
Nigel Kennedy's new interpretation of his block-buster 1989 release of The Four Seasons. Kennedy's The Four Seasons is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling classical work of all time and has sold in excess of two million copies. Kennedy deconstructs this classic piece in a daring, modern way. Vivaldi: The New Four Seasons is an exciting new version and was mixed by Damon Reece (Massive Attack, Goldfrapp).
Over twenty-five years ago, Nigel Kennedy made his breakthrough with his recording of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. The 1989 recording earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling classical work of all time and has sold in excess of two million copies. Now, he returns with a new and fresh interpretation, Vivaldi: The New Four Seasons. Mixed by Damon Reece (Massive Attack, Goldfrapp), who also did the electronic drum programming, Kennedy deconstructs this classic piece in a daring, modern way. The album also features singers Zee Gachette and Xantone Blacq, a former member of Amy Winehouse's band and was recorded with Kennedy's Orchestra of Life consisting of young musicians who are equally at home performing classical, jazz and improvisational repertoire. Says Kennedy, "I hope that this new approach brings you a different and deeper enjoyment of this amazing music."
Nigel Kennedy has not only been acknowledged as one of the world's leading violin virtuosos but he is the best-selling classical violinist of all time. His technique, unique talent and mass appeal have brought fresh perspectives to both the classical and contemporary repertoire. Kennedy has performed with leading orchestras throughout the world.
American Record Guide, March/April 2016
If you want your Vivaldi introduced with movement titles like 'Melodious Incantation; The Goatherd Sleeps with His Trusty Dog Beside Him; His Fears Are Only Too True; Horns, Guns, and Dogs; and Walk on the Ice', and the solo, played here with both acoustic and electric violins, encased in mod rhythms with night club backup and transitions before, between, and after each movement of each concerto with everything from electronica to ersatz jazz, then this is for you.
Recording information: Angel Studios (2011-12-14_2011-12-20&2012-); Rak Studios (2011-12-14_2011-12-20&2012-).
When you see someone called Z-Star among the guest artists, it's a fair bet that you're not getting a conventional recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons violin concertos. And sure enough, bad-boy violinist Nigel Kennedy and his Orchestra of Life use the score as a starting point for various kinds of embroidery. There are beats, long solo interjections, abrupt tempo shifts, electronics, rock guitars, samples of various kinds of outdoor sounds, some of them quite loud, and so on. How you'll feel about this may well depend on your stance toward The Nige in the first place, but give this a chance either way: several things make it work better than you might guess. One is fidelity to Vivaldi's spirit, if not to his notes: Kennedy reproduces (in English) the sonnets, perhaps by Vivaldi himself, that accompanied the original score, and his sound effects generally correspond to the scenes in the poetry. Second, Kennedy has perhaps never played better than he does here, slashing through his various heavy accompaniments with brilliance and speed. And finally, there's an X factor here that's due to a certain break-on-through-to-the-other-side quality. The performance is not just loud and brash but focused and intense as well. In all, you may be left with the impression that if Liszt had known Vivaldi's music and had had access to modern popular forms and technologies, he might have come up with something like this. Even if not, it's a wild, wild ride. ~ James Manheim
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Works DetailsVivaldi, Antonio : Concerto for Violin in E major, Op. 8 no 1/RV 269 "Primavera"
- Performer: Nigel Kennedy (Violin)
- Running Time: 3 min. 46 sec.
- Period Time: Baroque
- Form: Concerto
- Written: 1725