Vivaldi - The Four Seasons, Anne Sophie-Mutter


I picked up Vivaldi - The Four Seasons, Anne Sophie-Mutter CD a few weeks ago and finally had the opportunity to really listen to it this week. The Four Seasons is a favorite of mine and my reason for choosing this particular CD is that the reviews indicated that it was done differently from the norm. I already have an excellent recording of The Four Seasons by Lara St. John so figured something different would add to my library rather than just be a duplication by another artist.

While I can tell that some aspects of it are certainly different, I am not enough of an aficionado of classical music, any music really, to really notice the subtle differences that many people may hear. I do like the feel of this one however. What I have found to be most enjoyable is that the recording is very dynamic and because Trondheim is a small group the instrument separation and detail is far better than you'll ever get from a full orchestra. The tone and sound of the single double bass is fantastic. To me it has the full orchestra sound with the added benefit of hearing more of the sound from individual instruments. To me it is a recording where I'm drawn into their acoustics rather than it feeling like the performance is in my room.

I'm not a great reviewer, but if you enjoy The Four Seasons, I would recommend this CD.

The only downside that I can think of would be, like Horowitz recordings, the dynamic range of the music makes it difficult to listen to as background music or in the car. It's either too loud or too soft. You're always turning the volume up or down. This is, however, exactly what I want in a recording for pure listening.
mceljo
Thanks for your recommendation of this brilliant performance. The funny thing is I went to Amazon and read all 64 reviews. Most agreed that it is a really special performance but the negative reviews were so damming I don't know where these people are coming from. Some said the recording was thick and mushy. What are they listening on? Others said the Trondheim group was an embarrassment and played constantly out of tune. Really! They also slammed the packaging of the CD. Who cares.
I agree with you. A great performance, beautifully performed and recorded. Again, thank you very much for the recommendation
Alan
Alan - Did you download it on Amazon?
Like most Classical lovers I have multiple copies/versions of the same music. I have the Sophie-Mutter disc, and it is great. Just about everthing she does is great.

However, when it comes to the Four Seasons, most often I reach for either, Fabio Biondi / Europa Galante, or, Gil Shaham / Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

While not qualified to critic Classical music, these two performances do it for me.

Cheers
Mceljo,
No I played it on Tidal which is 16/44 resolution
Alan
By the way another great performance of the four seasons is by Il Giardino Armonico. This is still my favorite
Gil Shaham is also special
Alan
For a different take on The Four Seasons try "Vidaldi - The Four Seasons - Recomposed by Max Richter" André de Ridder conducts the Konzerthaus Kammerorchester Berlin with Daniel Hope on DG. It can be found on Spotify.
Here's another vote for Fabio Biondi. If you enjoy this music, you owe it to yourself to hear this version. I don't know the Mutter, but I'm sure it will be quite, err, different.
I also like Sparf on BIS with the Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble on original instruments.
For something really different, listen to the Four Seasons by the Amsterdam Guitar Trio!
Personally, I would love nothing more than to bury this tired out warhorse for eternity. It's already been played and recorded beyond death, and there is NO recording that can bring it back to life. I do love his bassoon concerto, though.
I don't know, Bojack--I find that the more recent recordings using "period" instruments and bows breathe new life into the overworked Baroque pieces. I really like violinists Lucy Van Dael and Giuliano Carmagnola. I haven't heard either do the Four Seasons but G.C.'s version of Vivaldi's "Il Passione Humana" is superb.
There are warhorses I can not bring myself to listen to anymore, notably Beethoven's 9th.
Four Seasons is not one of them, done in so many ways it sounds ever-fresh to me.