There are so many performances of the Four Seasons available on CD that I suppose each new performer is compelled to do something new or different in order to bring attention to their own particular interpretation.
This performance by the Boston Baroque has been designed to be more in line with period practices than other recordings by competitive groups that have been released in recent years. It has received glowing reviews by many professional reviewers and was nominated for a Grammy award, so the critics have spoken, and they are stating very clearly that this is a standout work.
It was for all of those reasons that I decided to add it to my collection, even though I already have four or five other Four Season's CD's. I love this music, and was curious and decided to give this one a try.
I am not a classical music expert, simply a person who enjoys fine music. I continue to build my collection and my experience with all of the works that I have gathered together. With the Four Seasons, my preference is for what would probably be termed a "traditional" performance, and having listened to my favorite Four Seasons CD (Viktoria Mullova, Chamber Orchestra of Europe - see Vivaldi: Le Quattro Stagioni (The Four Seasons)) for so many times, it has become in my own mind the standard that I automatically reference when listening to any other performance.
There are differences in this performance, in what I would describe as timing, or pace, or emphasis, that just slightly differ from what I find most enjoyable. There are also sequences in this recording that are superb. The quality of play is very high, the sound quality of the recording is also excellent. It is not the Four Seasons I would select for my only example, if I had to choose one, but it would probably make the top two or three.
If you are looking for something different, or to add some variety in your Four Seasons, then this is well worth considering. As I've mentioned, the experts (and I don't claim to be one of them!) give this the highest possible reviews, and it is quite good.
(8/14/11: I have revised my rating from three to four stars, and updated my comments, based upon further listening to the recording).