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Il Cimento Dell Armonia E Dell

Antonio Vivaldi Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 58.88
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Product Details


Disc: 1
1. I. Allegro
2. II. Largo
3. III. Allegro
4. I. Allegro non molto
5. II. Adagio
6. III. Presto
7. I. Allegro
8. II. Adagio molto
9. III. Allegro
10. I. Allegro non molto
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. I. Allegro
2. II. Largo
3. III. Allegro
4. I. Allegro
5. II. Adagio
6. III. Allegro
7. I. Allegro
8. II. Largo
9. III. Allegro
10. I. Allegro
See all 18 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Amazon.ca

Another Four Seasons, but this one shoots to the top of the list. Fabio Biondi's imaginative playing is full of spunk and vigor, delineating Vivaldi's scene-painting without overdoing it. His band matches him with rhythmic vitality; this is one Vivaldi set that holds your interest from start to finish.

In his program notes, Biondi explains the use of the "Manchester" manuscript of the Four Seasons, which was closer to the composer's intentions than editions published later, and he discusses the manuscript sources for the other works. The Four Seasons are the first four concertos of Vivaldi's Opus 8 set of a dozen, titled Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione (The Trial of Harmony and Invention). The others may not share the Seasons' popularity, but they're of comparable excellence, especially in performances as exciting as these. First-rate sound, close-up and immediate, underscores the vibrancy of the performances. Biondi's 1991 Four Seasons on Opus 111 is still in the catalog, but this one scores because Virgin includes the complete Opus 8 on two discs for the price of one. --Dan Davis


Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Nicely done. Slightly overdone. Aug. 19 2003
Format:Audio CD
The works, the ubiquitous 4 seasons (part of the larger Op.8 included here in its entirety), are truly marvels in the Baroque concerto literature. They are descriptive and quite unique. To me they sound like no other Vivaldi works.
This recording is quite nice but the performance, while being unique, is rather overly done. One example of this lies in the middle movement of the 3rd concerto (a personal favorite of mine with the long soothing harmonies) where the continuo is embellished too much for my liking. Maybe you will enjoy it. I did but it's just not worth a 5 in my opinion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the best classical album ever... March 26 2002
By Chris
Format:Audio CD
It is no secret that classical music is beautiful, and that A. Vivaldi's Four Seasons are some of the most beautiful of the beautiful. This compilation, by Europa Gallante (cond. Fabio Biondi) is perhaps the most incredible, unbelievable, and just plain outstanding recording I have ever heard (and I own five copies of Il cimento...). It is thrilling in every way classical music should be; Biondi brings the music of Vivaldi to life in ways few can. This album will be perhaps the best [money] you spend on classical music...ever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb May 31 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I learned of this recording as the result of reading another review; the subject was the Mutter/Trondheim collaboration, and a reviewer wrote that this recording was unique--an intriguing claim for a such a ubiquitous piece. I admit, I was intrigued, although--being the proud owner of both Tafelmusik's and the Venice Baroque Orchestra's recordings--I really wasn't in the market for yet another Four Seasons.
I'm very glad that I played my hunch, because I happened upon this set today (all right, I admit I was looking for it, especially after having been dissuaded by no fewer than three store employees from buying the Mutter, even though it was cheap). I bought it and, quite frankly, it blew me away.
Not only does this performance of the Four Seasons sounds at times almost surreal; it really IS unique. The instruments sound fabulous and voicings were brought out of which I was previously unaware. This disk serves as my introduction to Opus 8 in its entirety, and, and I'm happy (and not a little surprised) to write that the other concerti are just as engaging as the four with which we're so familiar. My only quibble is a technical one: there's a very nocticable shift in sound quality between the last movement of "Winter" (extremely bright throughout the entire Four Seasons, almost brassy but it works) and the first of "La tempesta di mare" (much less so) Since I don't have a CD changer, I'm not able to tell if the same shift occurs between Winter and the second disk, nor am I motivated enough to research it. It is, however, a little jarring.
Really excellent liner notes that are both scholarly and readable (not unlike those included with Lamon's recordings). My only quibble here is that I wish recording specs had been included (yes, girls can be nerds, too).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Those who wish to hear (again ?) a good version of the 4 seasons cannot go wrong with this recording.
Those who like the rest of the concertos or have never heard them cannot go wrong either.
Those who have heard Biondi's Estro Armonico and enjoyed it immensely will find more of the same here.
The concertos I like most, nos. 7, 8, 9, 11, have never sounded any better. *Especially* the latter. You must purchase this recording, even more so if you know these works by heart (prepare to be surprised). Very good recorded sound: never-heard viola or second violin parts "surface" here. Rich, rewarding continuo. Two CDs for the price of one thanks to Virgin Classics.
Next stop, La Stravaganza perhaps, yes ? We wants it, my precious.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally different from others Sept. 9 2001
Format:Audio CD
When I first listened to '95 version of Four Seasons by Biondi & Europa Galante, I thought the interpretation was nothing like I had heard before and immensely satisfying.
When I saw the new version of the same repertiore by the same performer in the store, I hesitated: "wouldn't this be the same thing?"
Was I wrong! There is new life in every place in this recording, and made me almost think, "Can they do this? Is this legal?"
I'm sure there will be those who would disagree with the interpretation in this recording, but since the purchase I've been listening to this one only when it comes to Four Seasons.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive version June 30 2004
By Michael
Format:Audio CD
Biondi's disc is without any doubt the definitive version of the FOUR SEASONS. This scintillating, buoyant, energetic performance leaves other versions lying in the dust. If you thought you had heard the SEASONS a million times, you're wrong: you haven't heard it truly interpreted until you hear this disc. If you were accustomed to think of the SEASONS as banal elevator music, then buy this disc - it will change your mind in an instant. Finally a performance of Baroque music that takes into account the BAROQUE AESTHETIC! This disc should belong on every music shelf. Don't dally - GET THIS CD!
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