Vivaldi Four Seaons - which version?

Discussion in 'Classical Music' started by michaelab, Mar 28, 2004.

  1. michaelab

    michaelab desafinado

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    It's shocking I know but I don't have a copy on CD :eek:

    I was browsing the classical section in the local FNAC here in Lisbon and trying to decide out of two versions they had there. The new Kennedy version with members of the Berlin Phil. on EMI :nigel: ....or the version with A.S Mutter and the Trondheim soloists on DG.

    I haven't really read much about either version except that the Mutter rendition seems to have got excellent reviews and the "new" (post punk) Kennedy version is rather controversial.

    Opinions?

    As an aside on clasical music marketing, if I were to go by the covers alone there would only be one choice :D:

    [​IMG]

    or

    [​IMG]

    Mutter's seductive post had me half way to the cash register with the CD in hand before I decided that I ought to perhaps find out what people thought ;)

    Michael.
     
    michaelab, Mar 28, 2004
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  2. michaelab

    PeteH Natural Blue

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    The Mutter version is really rather weird IIRC with a load of strange "special effects" in the orchestra, like the violins playing out of sync to produce a slidey effect in Winter - doesn't really work to my ears! Unless I'm getting it confused with the Kennedy, but I thought it was the Mutter...

    One of the all-time classic versions is Marriner / ASMF:

    [​IMG]

    which conveniently is quite cheap too. The Tafelmusik (period instrument) version on Sony is very highly rated too and I've just spotted it's at £5 in HMV (admittedly not much help to you!):

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2004
    PeteH, Mar 28, 2004
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  3. michaelab

    bat Connoisseur Par Excelence

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    I'd choose between Mutter and this:
    [​IMG]
     
    bat, Mar 28, 2004
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  4. michaelab

    Rodrigo de Sá This club's crushing bore

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    Mmm... I'd like to see the rest of the photo of Vanessa Mae; that seems to be a fragment from a nude photo. As a matter of fact she seems about to have an orgasm. Perhaps I'll Google Vanessa Mae and see the results...

    Well, there is Fabio Biondi. He recorded it twice. The second version is sometimes thought as better than the first, but I only have the first, which is quite interesting.

    The is also Carmigniola. I listened to it only once and it is rather good too.

    I personally would avoid Muter - as said, too much non musical effects. Kennedy I don't know. I listened to a small bit of his Brahms concerto and he seemed to me quite conservative...

    Edited to add: I showed Vanessa's picture to my wife. And she is much more learned in pop than I am, and told me she was a popster. So one can understand the cover!!

    I'm getting old :(
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2004
    Rodrigo de Sá, Mar 28, 2004
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  5. michaelab

    tones compulsive cantater

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    tones, Mar 28, 2004
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  6. michaelab

    bat Connoisseur Par Excelence

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    Here is the rest of the photo (unfortunately I had to again censor the lower part of the picture).

    This could be the cover photo of the century.

    [​IMG]
     
    bat, Mar 28, 2004
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  7. michaelab

    bat Connoisseur Par Excelence

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    My another favorite is Yevgeniya Lisitsina's organ version (sic!) but it doesn't have quite as good cover art.
     
    bat, Mar 28, 2004
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  8. michaelab

    GrahamN

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    Just to muddy the waters a bit more :D

    I have two versions. The first is a (very much) non-period performance from Gidon Kremer and his own small band, the Kremerata Baltica on Nonesuch. He intersperses the Vivaldi with moevements from Piazzolla's "Four Seasons of Buenos Aires", to make an "Eight Seasons" disc. The general style is neo-Baroque: the Vivaldi is played accurately but with a 20th cent perspective that I find (with the possible exception of rather too hard edged playing in Autumn") absolutely wonderful. Even if you don't find this is the perfect recording for you, you do have to hear it.

    Amazon Link
    [​IMG]

    The second I got as an authentic period band version, following a rave review in Gramophone last year. This is from Alessandrini and "Concerto Italiano", one of the apparently growing number of Italian baroque-specialist bands (Giardino Armonico being ond of the other famous ones) - its Opus 111/Naive (OP 30363). I actually find this a bit over-interpreted (even compared to the Kremer), and the violin playing is not always of the highest quality ("authentically" using 4 different members of the orchestra rather than dedicated soloist). I've clearly not made up my mind about it (and certainly am not as bowled over as the reviewer). It does certainly go for the high-octane factor though.

    I've not heard the Biondi/Europa Galante version(s). I do have their recent disc of Scarlatti Symphonies/Concerti which is wonderful: again highly infectious rhythmic and dynamic drive. As RdS says there are two versions - looks like the former is a different version of the text, while the latter has all 12 of the Op 8 concerti, rather than just the "famous four".

    Interestingly Gramofile still recommends Manze and the Amsterdam Baroque Orch (with Koopman), but they never say anything bad about Manze - ever. I peresonally find his tone generally a bit too forced/scratchy (while at the same time being rather thin) for comfort

    I heard Carmigniolo and Venice Baroque live at the Proms a couple of years ago, and it was one of the two worst concerts of the season - flaccid, down-beat, deadly boring. As for Mutter, looking at the picture you posted, that looks like her earlier one (with Karajan). I heard her last year "directing" the LPO in the concert she recorded recently with Trondheim. It was truly dreadful - over-romanticised, slushy tosh with no discernable insight or interest in the music - Vivaldi as Brahms! And the romantic orchestration of the "Devils Trill" was even worse. Clearly they realised this was going to be a disaster as they drafted Manze in as a guest leader to at least provide some focus/direction to the band.

    Just been looking for that Vanessa-Mae thing - just to find further confirmation of Sony's headlong rush for the crossover cesspool: VM is no longer contracted to EMI and is now with Sony, and there is no mention of any Vanessa-Mae recordings on EMI's web-site. So it looks as if you may be spared the option of VM's interpretation - especailly its unique coupling with the theme from "Mulan"...and the Devil's THrill (sic) Sonata.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 29, 2004
    GrahamN, Mar 28, 2004
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  9. michaelab

    mtl

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    One of the better versions available is the one with Thomas Zehetmair, violin, and the Camerata Bern (on Berlin Classics):

    [​IMG]
     
    mtl, Mar 30, 2004
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  10. michaelab

    TDA1540

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    Carmignola/Marcon

    I heard Carmignola last september in Ambronay,and was very impressed.The natural unforced interpretation and marvellous sound made me buy there cds that same week.

    M.
     
    TDA1540, Mar 31, 2004
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  11. michaelab

    eisenach

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    And Pinnock?
     
    eisenach, Apr 6, 2004
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  12. michaelab

    nsherin In stereo nirvana...

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    I've got the Vanessa Mae version - I've been a fan of hers since I first saw Tocatta/Fuge (sp?) on TV back in '97 or so. Definately recommended - she seems to play the Four Seasons very well indeed. I'm sure I've seen it around HMV recently. For those that want something a bit more rock/upbeat, I'd add her 'The Violin Player' to your list of stuff to buy.
     
    nsherin, May 11, 2004
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  13. michaelab

    bat Connoisseur Par Excelence

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    The Vanessa Mae 4 Seasons is indeed great.

    However, IMHO she is not naked enough in the cover and the orgasm on her face seems to be faked.

    Therefore her version should be strictly avoided.
     
    bat, May 11, 2004
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  14. michaelab

    bat Connoisseur Par Excelence

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    And she doesn't have nearly enough make-up on her face either!
     
    bat, May 11, 2004
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  15. michaelab

    JackOTrades

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    Well another vote for Carmignola.

    I also happen to have a couple more versions, in particular
    Gidon Kremer's Eight Seasons cd. I really like it, but nothing
    that I heard to this day comes near Carmignola's version.

    and I am a big fan period instrumentation and of the english
    concert in particular (pinnock, manze).

    :beer:
    Jack
     
    JackOTrades, May 27, 2004
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  16. michaelab

    JackOTrades

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    So, Michaelab, which one(s) did you go for in the end?

    what about Jacques Loussier's take on the 4 seasons huh?
    :MILD:

    :beer:
    Jack
     
    JackOTrades, Jun 9, 2004
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  17. michaelab

    titian

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    Vivaldi and the italian Settecento.. :MILD:

    My reference interpretation is Claudio Scimone and the Solisti Veneti.
    I don't need special effects to make the music more interesting that it is. Just freshness, liric poetry combined with armony and invention...

    Just sublime. :MILD:
     
    titian, Jun 27, 2004
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  18. michaelab

    joel Shaman of Signals

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    Game and set to Mutter, obviously. I have a version by Andrew Manze, Tom Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra that is pretty rock n roll. I guess the Biondi is close (???). However, if the AS Mutter was available on vinyl, I'd go for that.
    I'm surprised they only went for semi-nudity on the Vanessa album.
     
    joel, Jun 29, 2004
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  19. michaelab

    mudgey

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    I like the Kennedy version ( I'm not into punk ) I think he plays it with spirit and emotion. As for the part that plays the violin out of sinc, this became clearer to me when I tweaked my system setup :)


    Bob the Canuk
     
    mudgey, Jul 25, 2004
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