I am fortunate that radio-broadcasting companies in my country (Netherlands) and until recently Belgium radio provide opportunity to compare several recordings of the same piece of music. On one of those occasions I heard Vivaldi's Le Quattro Stagioni, being the first four parts of Il Cimento dell'Armonia e dell'Inventione (12 parts in all). In recording terms, these are the most mutilated pieces of music of all time. However, a characteristic of good music is that it is immune to how the music is played, be it a hurdy-gurdy or a Stradivarius, the piece will withstand all violent attacks. Formally, most of Vivaldi's music is court music, and more specific its origin is clearly the dance. Although bound by rules, the music was not static like its Renaissance counterpart, which was more rooted in religion. The many courts of 18th century Italy craved for his music and it was recorded that Vivaldi could not handle the demand. Sometimes his output, which was overwhelming, tends to sound like variations on a theme, apparently some sort of musical recycling was not strange to him. However, the credit for reviving this all too familiar music goes to Accademia Bizantina under Ottavio Dantone. Not only the orchestra plays stunningly well and original, the solo-violinist Stefano Montanari, achieves wonders. Moreover, the recording quality of this disc is exquisitely good; the interpretation is powerful when it is needed, melancholic and tender without sentimentality.
The booklet states that this audiophile disc was recorded utilizing 24-bit 96 kHz technology, without any compression or equalization of the signal at any stage during production. They recommend playing it on a DVD-player and if you have one you should be able to hear the difference. On decent stereo equipment, the definition is more than stunning.