VIVALDI: The Four Seasons Op. 8 Nos. 1-4; TARTINI: Sonata in G minor for violin and basso continuo “Devil’s Trill” – Joshua Bell, violin/Academy of St. Martin in the Fields/ John Constable, harpsichord – Sony Classical

by | Oct 15, 2008 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

VIVALDI: The Four Seasons Op. 8 Nos. 1-4; TARTINI: Sonata in G minor for violin and basso continuo “Devil’s Trill” – Joshua Bell, violin/Academy of St. Martin in the Fields/ John Constable, harpsichord – Sony Classical 88697-11913-2, 53:38 ****:

Yet another Four Seasons; considering Bell is probably the hottest male violinist around today, sales should be good. His treatment of the Vivaldi chestnut is a nice compromise between the wildest attack of ensembles such as Carmignola’s and Biondi’s and the old-fashioned straight-laced classical approach.  The chamber orchestra has a rich and full sound and Bell’s violin is well-placed without being in your face.

The choice of the Tartini Sonata is also a pleasant one instead of the usual additional Vivaldi concertos.  A nice touch with the album is a set of four separate illustrated cards, each containing the original descriptive sonnet for each of the four seasons in both Italian and a new English translation.  Thank God we didn’t have to sit thru Meryl Streep or Bill Clinton reading each of the sonnets prior to hearing each concerto…

 – John Sunier

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