In celebration of the 25th anniversary of virtuoso violinist Nigel Kennedy’s landmark recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, this 25th Anniversary Special Edition includes the original ground-breaking recording, award winning film, images and memorabilia and a specially written account of the unfolding event.
Nigel Kennedy’s recording was released 25th September 1989 on vinyl, cassette and CD and went on to become one of the best-selling classical albums of all-time. Originally recorded in November 1986 in the Church of St John-at-Hackney, London, it was a recording that would achieve unprecedented public and media attention and change the course of music history. Vivaldi’s work, 12 movements in short three-minute bursts, was tailor-made for commercial radio. It was the first time that commercial pop marketing techniques had been used in the classical world and the first time that Nigel was unleashed on the media.
“My first recording of The Four Seasons with the English Chamber Orchestra was the first really popular classical album, even if I say it myself, before Pavarotti and before Vanessa-Mae and before any of the mo-fo’s who made the big waves in classical music.” Nigel Kennedy, 2011
Running Time: 48mins Sound Format: Linear PCM Stereo Region Coding: Region 0 (All Regions)
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1-3: Concerto No. 1 in E 'La Primavera' (Spring) 9:41 4-6: Concerto No. 2 in G minor 'L'estate' (Summer) 10:25 7-9: Concerto No. 3 in F 'L'autunno' (Autumn) 11:19 10-12: Concerto No. 4 in F minor 'L'inverno' (Winter) 8:48
DVD: The Four Seasons With introductions to each concerto by Nigel Kennedy
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What is left to be said, musically, about a work that features on around a hundred recordings in the current UK catalogue alone? In explaining that he has not been "seduced" by the "authentic" movement, Kennedy notes, "In my opinion, if a piece of music belongs only to the time in which it was written, it should not be played today". Thus his approach draws on the entire tradition of violin playing: "Once I've established an instinctive relationship with the music, I need to use every technique I know to communicate that to the listener". Communicate Nigel Kennedy certainly does, bringing a fresh eye to a work over-familiarity has consigned to background music. His "Adagio Molto" from Concerto No. 3 opens with an extraordinary spectral bowing effect, while the following "Allegro" has a zestful percussive snap. His tempos are faster, his rhythms more accentuated and dynamic, his playing more vigorous and involved than we are used to. The effect is startling and exhilarating, making this aFour Seasonsto be listened to. Putting the solo instrument once more to the fore, Nigel Kennedy has done us a great service, reminding us that these truly are fineconcertos, bringing this vibrant music once more to our attention. Gary S. Dalkin