Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
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With its vivid poetry and technical ingenuity, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons was ground breaking at the time of its release and to this day remains as influential and transfixing as ever. In this recording, violinist Kati Debretzeni directs the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in an energetic, historically informed performance. From the commanding heat of the Summer sun, to Winter’s foreboding darkness, the power of Vivaldi’s masterpiece is inescapable.
The booklet includes a ‘Guided tour of the Four Seasons’, allowing listeners to follow the poetry that inspired Vivaldi as they hear the performances on the disc, including additional composer’s notes from Vivaldi’s own scores.
The Four Seasons forms the first third of a collection of twelve violin concertos published together in 1725 as 'Opus 8' with the overall title Il Cimento dell' armonia e dell' Inventione ('The Trial of Harmony and Invention'). The concertos broke new ground not only in terms of their detailed depiction of poetic ideas, but also their technical ingenuity—most noteworthy in this regard are passages of rapid string-crossing with the bow and high-flying virtuosity for the left hand.
Julian Haylock © 2014
Here is a 'Guided tour of the Four Seasons', imparting those comments. The timings of the album refer to the point in the score where the capital letters appear above the staves, linking the poems to the music. Vivaldis comments, as printed underneath the various instrumental lines, are also given with their respective timings.
May it add another layer to your listening experience.
Kati Debretzeni © 2014