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Four Seasons

Antonio Vivaldi Audio CD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 16.45 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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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

Product Description


We've grown so accustomed to seeing violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter gracing album covers in her flowing formal gowns that this recording of Vivaldi's masterpiece may come as a shock to her fans, at least at first glance. Mutter, it appears, has been influenced by Gap culture, looking relaxed and appearing in jeans on the album cover. To coincide with this release, she even released a music video, featuring the Trondheim Soloists and herself performing the glorious work and looking like they're having a blast. Is this the shape of classical music to come? Let's hope so. Mutter's performance here, as usual, is top-notch. The opening movements of Spring sound delightful, the Summer storm sounds frenzied, and during Winter's second movement, you can practically hear the chill being warded off by a fire. Her impeccable tone is, as usual, gorgeous and the conductorless Trondheims provide a fine, if slightly obscured, accompaniment. Filling out this disc is Tartini's Sonata in G Minor (better known as The Devil's Trill), a wonderful piece of baroque violin virtuosity. There have never been so many recordings of Four Seasons available as right now; there really is no definitive version anymore. This one, however, is easy to recommend. --Jason Verlinde

Product Description

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A showcase of pure, unadulterated celebration Aug. 8 2003
By A Customer
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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5.0 out of 5 stars an artist in her prime Feb. 12 2003
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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5.0 out of 5 stars The most fun Vivaldi ever, if not flawless. June 19 2002
Format:Audio CD
My one disappointment with this album is a sloppiness in the Trondheim Soloists. (I am not much of a musician myself; this is just my subjective perception. Feel free to flame me at your convenience.) This is isolated, rare and a minor complaint anyway, but very noticeable during the first movement of Winter. They just don't even sound like they're *together* in places.
But this is my one minor nitpick. Authenticity? BAH! This is by far the most soulful, the most gleeful, the most FUN recording of Vivaldi I've ever heard.
I don't need to mention what an amazing virtuoso Anne-Sophie Mutter is. Instead I'll just gush over her solos -- the way she can dig into a note and make it growl agressively like a gospel singer, the way she can manipulate the tempo as if it were elastic... there's so much going on here it makes me giddy listening to it.
Gratuitous packaging photos of the admittedly beautiful Ms. Mutter aside, this album doesn't strike me as some academic study in the baroque period. It strikes me more as a group of brilliant musicians indulging themselves and throwing their hearts and souls into an off-beat interpretation of a staple piece of music.
Don't get this album because you're looking for a technically perfect or accurate recording of Vivaldi. Get it because it's more fun than baroque music fans should be having.
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Format:Audio CD
Although this piece of music is the most over recorded work in recent history, it happens to be an enduring and captivating baroque classic.
I really love it, as it contains enough highs and lows to satisfy my love of passionate, firey, emotional and colourful music. Whether it is Jazz, Progressive Metal, Funk or Classical music, I like to hear and feel these qualities coming at my aural senses with abandon!
I have to say that Anne-Sophie Mutters rendition of this work displays her usual dreamy tone and energy. It goes without saying that her technical prowess handles everything with apparent ease, maybe too much so because I feel an artist is at their best, when performing right on the edge of their abilities. Sadly, Mutter plods along through most of this work, causing you to sit uncomfortably in your chair, urging her to propel each movement forward with more energy and passion.
I have heard many, many versions of this work and I still come back to the one that captures every nuance, tone and emotion with thundering power and sensitivity. That version is by Nigel Kennedy, released in 1989 and everytime I hear it, you are left uplifted, exhausted and satisfied. I doubt very much if anyone else could better Nigel Kennedy's performance and Mutter certainly tries to bring something new to the work, but ultimately fails to capture it in the right way.
I love Anne-Sophie Mutters other recordings very much, but I wouldn't really recommend this one, apart from the added bonus of Tartini's 'The Devil's Trill', which is excellent and in many ways overshadows the main attraction of the CD.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Exciting Highlights Dampened by Weak Support
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. Read more
Published on March 7 2007 by Donald Mitchell
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Baroque, Just Grotesque
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. Read more
Published on May 21 2004 by Jeffrey Lipscomb
5.0 out of 5 stars Aggressive and Invigorating
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. Read more
Published on April 15 2003 by Steven Davis
2.0 out of 5 stars Vivaldi as Beethoven?
...Mutter is really playing a Baroque piece with too much of her HEAVY Romantic heart. The Pathos of Beethoven was UNkown when the seasons were composed. Read more
Published on May 27 2002 by HarryKerryJr
5.0 out of 5 stars New Romanticism VS. Old Sourpuss "Authenticity"
[...another] reviewer of this CD writes: "Let's face it: nobody plays Italian baroque like that anymore. Read more
Published on Dec 18 2001 by S. G. Oles
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, vivid and exuberant!
This isn't your usual Sunday brunch rendering of The Four Seasons. Anne-Sophie Mutter brings the Vivaldi favorite to vivid life with both sensitivity and boldness, and she's helped... Read more
Published on Sept. 6 2001 by cnomad
5.0 out of 5 stars Sizzling
This is the ultimate Four Seasons album. While other reviewers have dubbed this disc an "alternative interpretation," I have to dissagree. Read more
Published on May 9 2001 by Andrew R. Casper
5.0 out of 5 stars A real eye opener
I am a first year in a small liberal arts college, and I bought this album and played it for my friends, not only have they learned to love, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Vivaldi, but... Read more
Published on May 3 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing
this brings out all the emotions in you, all w/in an hour.
Published on April 24 2001 by Victoria Hattaway
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