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Vivaldi:
The Four Seasons

Violin Concerto, Op. 8 No. 5 in E flat major, RV253 'La tempesta di mare'
Concerto, Op. 3 No. 11 'Con due Violini e Violoncello obligato', RV 565
Concerto, Op. 3 No. 8 'Con due Violini obligati', RV 522
Concerto, Op. 3 No. 10 'Con quattro Violini e Violoncello obligato', RV 580

Europa Galante, Fabio Biondi

Is there any way a violinist can make Vivaldi's Four Seasons not sound like elevator music nowadays? Judging by this release, the answer is "yes". Fabio Biondi leads his Europa Galante in crisp performances which do not distort the music either dynamically or rhythmically, and his playing is so clear, clean and clever that you'll hear new things in music you thought you could play in your sleep. The storm is surprisingly stormy without being exaggerated, for instance, and the dance-like opening to "Autumn" is positively toe-tapping. The harpsichord that opens "Winter" is bone-chilling and the pizzicato strings in its second movement--taken quickly--are nicely brittle. Biondi emphasises the lower strings elsewhere so that we experience a texture not often noticed, but obviously present. The CD is filled out with the almost equally famous La Tempersta Del Mare Concerto and three from L'Estro Armonico, all played with the same determination and excellence. This is a glorious disc.

Brand New /sealed
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  • Seller location: Lower Hutt City, Wellington, NZ

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