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Four Seasons


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 2 1999)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B00002DE2L
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #42,125 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Spring: I. Allegro
2. Spring: II. Largo
3. Spring: III. Danza Pastorale
4. Summer: I. Allegro Non Molto
5. Summer: II. Adagio
6. Summer: Presto - Anne-Sophie Mutter
7. Autumn: Allegro - Anne-Sophie Mutter
8. Autumn: Adagio molto - Anne-Sophie Mutter
9. Autumn: Allegro - Anne-Sophie Mutter
10. Winter: Allegro non molto - Anne-Sophie Mutter
11. Winter: Largo - Anne-Sophie Mutter
12. Winter: Allegro - Anne-Sophie Mutter
13. Sonata In G Minor 'Devil's Trill': Larghetto affetuoso - Anne-Sophie Mutter
14. Sonata In G Minor 'Devil's Trill': Allegro moderato (Tempo giusto della scuola tartiniana - Anne-Sophie Mutter
15. Sonata In G Minor 'Devil's Trill': Andante (Sogni dell'autore) - Anne-Sophie Mutter
16. Sonata In G Minor 'Devil's Trill': Allegro assai - Andante - Allegro assai - Andante - Allegro assai - Cadenza - Adagio - Anne-Sophie Mutter

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on March 7 2007
Format: Audio CD
It's easy to get used to listening to near-perfect recordings and performances of The Four Seasons. With so many recordings available, you can have your pick of styles.

I remember confidently ordering tickets for a local group's performance of The Four Seasons in Salzburg one summer. How could I go wrong? The performance started off in fine fashion. The soloist was huge, confident, and energetic. The rest of the group was solid and enthusiastic. But after about 12 minutes, the soloist began to come apart at the seams. He couldn't complete the difficult sections in Summer. The group would restart and restart. I was fascinated.

I had almost forgotten that experience when I first listened to this recording. Such violin soloist flubs are unknown in the mature Anne-Sophie Mutter's recordings. But I was astonished to find that her supporting cast of Trondheim Soloists (led by Bjarne Fiskum and including soloists Byvind Gimse, and Knut Johannesen) was apparently playing a different piece, and not very well. Ms. Mutter is also credited as conductor. I suspect that she should have scheduled many more practices.

The recording also has moments when another take would have been in order.

But I learned something valuable from listening to Ms. Mutter soar about the muddled noise: It matters who else is playing with you for The Four Seasons.

If you are an Anne-Sophie Mutter fan (as I am), you'll undoubtedly want to listen to this CD. But I think you'll be more pleased if you limit yourself to the first allegro from Spring from The Four Seasons for 3 minutes and 36 seconds during which the Trondheim Soloists perform okay in the Simply Anne-Sophie CD. Good editing choice there.

I graded Anne-Sophie's playing as a five, the recording quality as a four, and the Trondheim Soloists as a 1.
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Format: Audio CD
I will forsake my usual verbose review - words simply fail me here. From the "album cover" to the performance, this is crass exploitation at its worst. If anyone buying this is even remotely interested in the music, they might give the Carmignola 4 Seasons on Sony a hearing - it's just one of about 100 preferable alternatives.
It's really odd how mediocrity gets the spotlight, while artistry is so often relegated to obscurity. Mutter studied violin with Aida Stucki, a wonderful artist whose early Vox LP recordings of Mozart Concertos are genuine collector's items.
Why not issue some of THOSE on CD instead of settling for a sham like this. Apparently we just don't live in a graceful age.
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Format: Audio CD
I think we may have the definitive recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons here with the talents of Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Trondheim Soloists. A rich, full-bodied Four Seasons is presented here; a genuine product of musical growth for Mutter, given she recorded the seasons nearly 20 years ago for EMI. Harald Wieser says it best in the liner notes, "The recording that you made with Herbert von Karajan and the Vienna Philharmonic was very beautiful. Very beautiful, but also very stolid. It was like a good, heavy red wine. A musical High Mass celebrating The Four Seasons. But it is the popping of vintage champagne corks that one hears in your playing with these young Norwegians, playing in which you are so infectiously youthful and one can almost literally see the twinkle in your eye....For me the High Mass has been turned into a high spirited celebration, with a pure and sometimes even boisterous delight in music-making. In the Presto from "Summer" and the Allegro from "Autumn," the Trondheimers literally leap from their seats...Your four seasons for Karajan was an example of life as art. The present recording, under your own direction, is an example of art as life."
Mutter makes the listener see and even hear the colours of the seasons, creating a distinctive tone and mood with each movement. Indeed, one can only think of Vivaldi smiling upon this recording, as this is the way he intended for his Four Seasons to be played.
Tartini's "Devil's Trill" (as I've stated in previous reviews, the veritable Tracy to Vivaldi's Hepburn), is just as enthralling, something that must have been a challenge to Mutter, for after the final Allegro of Winter, it seems as though nothing could make it better.
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Format: Audio CD
Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Trondheim Soloists attack Vivaldi's old warhorse with a freshness and energy that make you listen to it as though you were hearing it for the first time. Mutter adds both intensity and suspense to the fast movements, setting off the lyrical passages with greater contrast. This probably isn't the way Vivaldi would have performed it, but it is an interpretation that rescues the Four Seasons from being mere background music.
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Format: Audio CD
You won't find many recordings of the famed Red Priest's masterpiece that can match this one. I'd put Shaham with the Orpheus CO (also on DG) in the same ballpark, but I know of no recording that reaches the levels of beauty and improvisational flare found on this recording. Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Trondheim soloists have given us a Four Seasons for the ages.
First, the obvious-Mutter wants us to "hear" this disc with our eyes. The accompanying notes are filled with the art of Gotthard Graubner as well as some lovely photos of Mutter. While some people seem to have a problem with this "commercialism," I do not (icing on the cake if you ask me).
Now, to the actual music-let me start by saying that this is no "vanity" project (this is Mutter's second recording of the work-so some seem to think her suspect). Whereas Mutter's first recording with Karajan was musically adept and refined, this Four Seasons is the product of true artistry. Pared down but not forced, insightful, but not idiosyncratic--I would say this recording is best described as a playful work of love.
This second recording by Mutter tops other Four Seasons that I have head in many ways. In particular--it, like nature, has an innate freedom. This is music that flows naturally, unpredictably, and is always full of wonder.
Where this disc truly separates itself from other recordings of the work is in its palpably frigid "Winter." Mutter's violin IS the biting cold. You might want to have a sweater handy when you listen.
The Devil's Trill, the filler piece on the disc, is possibly given an even better performance than the stunning Four Seasons. Both pieces are programmatic and fantasy driven. Both create stunning sound-pictures.
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