Vivaldi - Le Quattro Stagioni, Il Grosso Mogul, Il Riposo, L’Amoroso | Channel Classics CCSSA40318

Vivaldi - Le Quattro Stagioni, Il Grosso Mogul, Il Riposo, L’Amoroso


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Label: Channel Classics

Cat No: CCSSA40318

Format: SACD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 20th April 2018



What better music than Vivaldi’s ‘Le Quattro Stagioni’ to start the celebration of Rachel Podger’s 50th birthday year! Together with the star players of Brecon Baroque, Rachel guides you through the seasons of nature and life.

Producer Jonathan Freeman-Attwood: ‘The irresistible characterpieces that pit solo violin against string ensemble in Vivaldi’s “Le Quattro Stagioni” have reached the ears of millions over the last few generations. Most recordings adopt a strikingly similar approach to the scores, and familiarity has blunted the music’s edge: we have passed the point of rediscovery and have stopped listening intently to the freshness of Vivaldi’s invention.

‘Working with Rachel Podger and Brecon Baroque has been an object lesson in starting anew and identifying the ingredients which make “Le Quattro Stagioni” great works. Virtuosity is non-negotiable here and Rachel has it in abundance. But it’s the colour, poetry, vibrancy and evocative characterisation of weather, human warmth and fragility, captured by the dynamic flux of Rachel interlocking with her colleagues in Brecon Baroque, that deliver near-unimaginable qualities in this music.

‘With two other deeply evocative works and that great “bull” of a concerto, “Il Grosso Mogul”, the experience is kaleidoscopic in the capacity of a single-part string band to press the boundaries of intimacy and, at the same time, to produce visceral fortes as dramatic as you’ll here in any larger group. The musical range is sensational and matched all the way by Jared Sacks’s luminous and emotionally engaged recorded sound.’

‘There is probably no more inspirational musician working today than Podger’ – Gramophone

‘the queen of the baroque violin’ – Sunday Times

‘(...) Rachel Podger, ever a glorious example of someone who lives life through her violin. (...)’ 
– Gramophone



Rachel Podger, violinist and director of Brecon Baroque, performs the work with a select group of eight musicians, one to each part. So far from sounding spartan, this releases a freedom and buoyancy in the playing that is quite delightful.  Richard Fairman
Financial Times 7 April 2018
...this is something genuinely, effortlessly and naturally different. At the nub of this triumph is the thought that’s gone into timbre and balance across the four concertos, because I’ve never heard their every twist and turn served up as quite the succession of changing sound worlds as appears here. ... Podger and her team have been generous too, adding three further Vivaldi concertos, all of which have been realised with an equal ear to the scorings’ possibilities for timbral flair. Even had they not done, though, this still would have been a Four Seasons to covet and keep.  Charlotte Gardner
Gramophone May 2018
With the ever-burgeoning multiplicity of recordings of Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons' it is difficult for any newcomer to demand attention in what is arguably the most fiercely competitive market for any classical work. However, here we have a fresh, uplifting account of Vivaldi's ubiquitous masterpiece performed impeccably by one of the world's finest period violinists and recorded in state-of the art sound.  Graham Williams 21 March 2018
Part of the freshness stems from the interaction between Podger and her one-to-a-part ensemble. She’s first among equals and the dynamic couldn’t be further from the usual notion of the concerto as a vehicle for the all-conquering soloist. ... Best of all, though is what follows: tenderly caressed performances of the Il risposo and L’Amoroso concertos, and a gleaming account of Il Grosso Mogul whose first movement cadenza dazzles, its Finale a shimmer of opulent exuberance.  Paul Riley (Concerto Choice)
BBC Music Magazine June 2018
I especially relished the interpretation’s natural flow: no forced eccentricities, no extreme flights. There’s also the exquisite balance of parts shared between Podger’s eight-strong ensemble. ... Three other Vivaldi concertos, all welcome, but much less familiar, fill out this entrancing and necessary album.  Geoff Brown
The Times 20 April 2018
Why is it Record of the Week? So many reasons... It doesn’t try too hard to be new, to be different, to be entertaining and yet it manages all those things without surrendering the elegance and grace that’s part of Vivaldi’s writing. It’s colourful, vivid and dramatic, yet without pushing the cinematic illustrative elements too far. With the one per part strings it’s intimate and detailed, lovely Continuo playing as well. I certainly don’t find it small scale and the playing is wonderfully communicative with a fluidity of phrasing and ease of spontaneity and ornamentation that I find really pleasing.  Andrew McGregor
Record Review (BBC Radio 3) 21 April 2018
Rachel Podger’s Midas touch makes even a warhorse such as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons sound fresh-minted. She and her Brecon players see these concertos not as orchestral but as chamber music.  Hugh Canning
The Sunday Times 15 April 2018
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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