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Vivaldi: The Four Seasons / Janine Jansen, et al

Album Summary

>Vivaldi, Antonio : Concerto for Violin in E major, Op. 8 no 1/RV 269 "Primavera"
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Janine Jansen follows her first Decca album of violin favorites with this high-energy account of Vivaldi's four violin concertos, known and loved as 'The Four Seasons'. The Dutch violinist leads her specially selected group of soloists in a fresh look at the most loved of all classical works. What gives this recording its tremendous freshness and sparkle is Janine's use of just one player per part. Gone is the heavy orchestral sound which is so familiar, this is a four seasons which sparkles with new life and energy, like a freshly cleaned old painting revealed in its true colors.

"Jansen mixes elements of historically-informed and modern performance practice to produce a reading of The Four Seasons that breathes new, welcome life into this old chestnut. She uses a pared-down ensemble of one instrument per part, and makes great use of the unusual sonorities of the theorbo and box organ. The disc is marked above all by contrast: there are great and sudden shifts in tempi and dynamics, and the instrumentalists fully explore the timbral possibilities of their instruments through various bowings and articulations. This isn't a romantic reading, as thankfully there isn't much in the way of swelling crescendos or syrupy rubato. Rather, Jansen's stark colorations give the music a remarkably "modern" feel, completely different from the starchy, dinner party background music character that these pieces too often have. Jansen's Seasons have an incredible immediacy and a relevancy, and given that these are among the most overplayed and overrecorded pieces in the entirety of Western music, that's no small feat. In short, 'Summer' has never been so deliciously sweltering, 'Winter's snow has never glistened so brightly, 'Spring's rains have never been so refreshing, and 'Autumn's hard cider has never packed so powerful a punch." -H&B



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Works Details

>Vivaldi, Antonio : Concerto for Violin in E major, Op. 8 no 1/RV 269 "Primavera"
  • Performers: Jan Jansen (Harpsichord); Janine Jansen (Violin); Maarten Jansen (Cello); Elizabeth Kenny (Theorbo); Julian Rachlin (Viola); Henk Rubingh (Violin); Candida Thompson (Violin); Stacey Watton (Double Bass)
  • Notes: Emil Berliner Studios / Yakult Zaal, Beurs van Berlage Concert & Congreszalen (05/20/2004-05/23/2004)
  • Running Time: 37 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1725