Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ricardo Kubala, Marit Laugen, Kristin Reigstad|
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons/Tartini: The Devil's Trill
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. Mutt... more »
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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
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yigala | Israel | 12/09/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Someone in DG has done a terrific job. This album will sell millions, and the quality of the music is not an issue at all. Anne Sophie Mutter has taken the same path as Pavarotti and Bocelli, and crossed the lines into pop culture. I don't think this is too bad, but if you are reading CD reviews, then you're probably a serious listener, and want to get a decent performance.Mutter's 4 seasons is good, some movements even excellent, but let's face it: nobody plays Italian baroque like that anymore. This CD wouldn't have been published if it hadn't been for Mutter's great looks.However, as Mr. Gammelgaard mentioned in his review, there is one performance which dwarfs all the rest: Il Giardino Armonico (Teldec) - An amazing, authentic baroque performance. It's a part of a magnificent set of concerti by Vivaldi. You won't regret spending a two-full-price amount on it.Don't fall for cheap pop design!"
Jill Tan | Singapore | 11/17/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is best listened in comparison with Mutter's earlier recording of the Four Seasons with von Karajan: one feels that the old recording was the work of the dutiful protege, playing a technically perfect piece with the maestro, while this new recording, on the other hand, casts away all stuffy inhibitions. One can almost hear Mutter saying to Von Karajan, "Well, I did that textbook recording with you, but now let me do it MY WAY." And what fun "her way" turns out to be, with the music pulsating with energy and vibrancy at every twist. Sure, the pace sometimes seems irregular and temperamental, but the sheer fun the musicians are having simply shines through. The tones are rich, the turns of phrase unusual, and every note is heartfelt. The fast movements are vintage Mutter, with all the necessary devilry intact, while the slow passages are filled with an emotion that did not seem present in the old recording with von Karajan. If this is the new Mutter, I can't wait to hear more!"
Judge it on its own merits
D. B. Rathbun | Washington, DC United States | 02/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anne Sophie will sell many copies of this album, true. The interpretation is shocking, unorthodox, true. The playing is very strong, especially for baroque, true. Are these reasons to hate this album? Perhaps, but that's not even a mater of opinion, rather merely of politics. Any way you slice it, this recording is unique. It's certainly not a particularly authentic or faithful rendition of Vivaldi's work, but it is certainly different from everything else out there. Moreover, the playing is good, precise, and the recording is well balanced and technically well done. I personally have multiple recordings of the 4 Seasons, precisely because each of them brings something different to the work. Authentic performances highlight different parts of the scoring and ornamentation, and modern orchestras simply have technologically superior violins with fuller, lush sound, and create performances with more force and expressiveness. Anne Sophie's recording is all new, it's living music. At times, it's raw and forceful, and at times it's serene, and in many regards exceeds the levels of both that other recordings achive. Some may think it goes too far at times, and I would almost include myself among those folk. I've listened to it several times, but I'm not going to buy it--it doesn't add much more for me to the 3 recordings I already have (one authentic performance, one really good modern performance with a chamber orchestra, and one with a really good soloist), since each of the three I have include passages that are particularly aggressive, particularly serene, or particularly well played. I commend the recording, however, and I'm glad I heard it.
Additionally, I would point out that Europa Galante just released an authentic instrument performance of not just the 4 seasons, but the entire Cimenta dell'armonia e dell'inventione, the larger work that the seasons concerti are part of. The performance is nuanced and innovative, quite unlike any other reading."