- The Four Seasons (Il quattro stagione), concertos (4) for violin, strings & continuo ("Il cimento" Nos. 1-4) , Op. 8/1 - 4
- Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in G minor, Op. 12/1, RV 317
19.39 In Stock
This EMI release of "The Four Seasons" gives violinist Sarah Chang top billing (as would be expected) and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra a smaller, less significant listing. As far as the quality of performance goes, however, Orpheus should absolutely be considered the star of this recording with Chang getting the footnote instead. This is simply not the case; from the ridiculously posed glamour photos filling the liner notes to the balance of the performance itself, this album is all about Chang. The most fulfilling aspects are the orchestral tuttis. Orpheus is truly at its best here, playing with as much energy and passion as the much ballyhooed recording with the Venice Baroque Orchestra. The sound is impressively full given the group's relatively small size; articulation and intonation line up with incredible precision. Regrettably, Chang does not play with the same level of refinement. Her playing on this album is quite forced and harsh-sounding that does not match well at all with the superb orchestral accompaniment. Tempos also fluctuate unnecessarily while Chang is playing as opposed to the rock-steady pace set by the orchestra alone. The liner notes include the sonnets Vivaldi included with the four concertos -- something frequently left out of most recordings -- but this does not make up for Chang's brash, unnuanced offering.