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Four Seasons

Antonio Vivaldi Audio CD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 15.95 & 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

Amazon.ca

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
3.0 out of 5 stars Exciting Highlights Dampened by Weak Support March 7 2007
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
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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1.0 out of 5 stars Not Baroque, Just Grotesque May 21 2004
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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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 Aggressive and Invigorating April 16 2003
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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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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The most fun Vivaldi ever, if not flawless.
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. Read more
Published on June 19 2002 by A. Hertzog
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. 7 2001 by cnomad
3.0 out of 5 stars The vixen of violin pours her dreamy tone over Vivaldi......
Although this piece of music is the most over recorded work in recent history, it happens to be an enduring and captivating baroque classic. Read more
Published on July 27 2001 by IanTheMuso
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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