VIVALDI: The Four Seasons – Recomposed by MAX RICHTER – Daniel Hope, v./ Konzerthaus Chamber Orch. Berlin/ André de Ridder – DGG 4-6 5040 *****:
Difficult to know what to say about this delightful reconstruction of Vivaldi’s overly-familiar concerti, which have been assailing our ears ever since their 1950s rediscovery. Except that’s it’s most enjoyable. Max Richter has disassembled the originals and created an entirely new composition from the deconstructed pieces. He uses post-minimalist procedures to fashion a new work, to reshape the original materials into new music. Modern pop and dance techniques are part of this, as are remixes, sampling, and sound collages. The score occasionally suggests a sort of dream state, in which drifting phrases from the original recombine into walls of sound which the may suddenly transform into a bit of the original Vivaldi version.
Daniel Hope is the skilled solo violinist in both the originals and reconstructed sections, and the Berlin Chamber Orchestra sails thru both versions of Vivaldi’s original concerti. About 75% of Vivaldi’s original has been discarded in Richter’s version. Haven’t analyzed what he has done, but in two auditions I must say this surpasses the couple of jazz versions The Four Seasons I have heard. Too bad it’s not in hi-res surround.
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