Vivaldi: The Four Seasons / De Vriend, Van Zweden, Comattimento Consort

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It is remarkable that listeners in later ages hardly ever share the preferences of a composer’s contemporaries. This is also true to a certain extent in the case of Antonio Vivaldi. The twelve concertos op. 8, Il Cimento dell’Armonia e dell’Inventione of which The Four Seasons are the first four, were only printed four times. The first edition, published in Amsterdam by Michel Charles le Cene, appeared in 1725, and it was reprinted three times by the Paris publisher Le Clerc. L’Estro’s popularity was equaled by Il Cimento only in France. This great success in France was undoubtedly due partly to the fact that French theoreticians often were less skeptical about the onomatopoeic potential of music than for instance their English colleagues. We do not know how Vivaldi himself regarded these theoretical questions. There are hardly any quotations extant from the Venetian master in which he airs his views on composition of aesthetics. Even the relation between the score of The Four Seasons and the four “explanatory sonnets” that Vivaldi had printed along with the first edition, is not quite clear. Did Vivaldi, in writing the Four Seasons, base himself on a specific programme? From the countless special effects the score offers it appears that this must have been the case. Yet the fact that some sonnet lines have no parallel in the music suggests the programme was not as well-defined as the sonnets would lead us to believe. One of the world’s most sought-after conductors, Jaap van Zweden has been Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 2008, and Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra since 2012.

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: CC 72746

  • UPC: 0608917274622

  • Label: Challenge

  • Composer: Antonio Vivaldi

  • Conductor: Jan Willem de Vriend

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Combattimento Consort Amsterdam

  • Performer: Jaap Van Zweden