Given that this is one of the most popular works of classical music of all time, I'd heard Vivaldi's 4 Seasons so often that I had no interest in hearing them again. Ever. But when I got this disc as a gift and popped it in, I was pleasantly surprised. This recording, despite being played on period instruments, is not for baroque purists. The dynamic contrasts are incredible, but tend to be on the hacking side in the louder sections. The group freely moves back and forth between ponticello and tasto, and many of the tempi are absurdly fast or slow compared to your average performance. Many of the movements have little gimmicks, most of which are interesting, but unsuccessful, such as the "barking dog" in the slow movement of Spring, an accurate description from a reviewer below. Onofri's violin solos are technically excellent, though occasionally gritty and often rhythmically quirky... the end result is that I love this music again, a change for the better. For an introduction to Vivaldi or period instrument performances, stay away. For a 4 Seasons that will revitalize you and forever alter the way you conceive of the piece, this is an essential recording.