Lives up to the reviews
oregonian | Kingston, NY USA | 03/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording has gotten extremely positive reviews, and I feel
that it more than lives up to them. The Concerto Italiano plays with extreme sensitivity, and with unparalleled sweetness. Everything about their handling of accents and phrases really *is* unlike others'. They tend to linger in the moment, especially the violins, and announce the beauty of moment after moment. This is definitely not for everyone, understandably, and if you are in a musical hurry, this is decidedly not the recording for you. But if you would rather sip a glass of wine than gulp a beer, I think this might just be the merlot you've been looking for."
An ear-bending interpretation
R. Reich | New York | 02/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Definitely not your grandfather's Four Seasons, but a new, vibrant and original way of experiencing an old battle ax. Some may scoff at this comparison, but the genius on display here is like Sinatra's: it's all in the phrasing. Blue Eyes is famous for flirting with complete disaster in his timing, entering with vocals at the moment you think it is too late and yet it isn't, holding notes he shouldn't, failing to accent words he "should" and so on. The tension between the vocals and the instrumentals in his work is a kind of high wire act. How did he DO that? The art lies between what we expect to hear and what we actually hear. So it is here. "Not what I expected" is enough to deter purists or traditionalists, but for those willing to challenge their own musical expectations, the reward is an expanded vision of what this music can be and, more substantially, a privileged journey into the minds and bows of the artists. This is so vivid a recording and interpretation that we can project ourselves into THEIR experience of the music. Does it get better than that? Like the infamous lone oboe in the first movement of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, these voices may seem out of place at first, but we come to understand and admire the boldness and audacity with which they were chosen. Part of me wishes at times for other choices, but how wonderful to encounter so many strong choices, such an opinionated approach, in a single place. Add to this an absolutely stunning recorded sound and you have a must have for the adventurous."