The Best Versions of Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons'

By BLindon on Mar 04, 2017 09:41 PM EST

Vivaldi has been an inspiration for a number of composers to revive, preserve and recapture that period of classical music and bring it into the modern times with dance, tango and shred guitar versions. On that note, the jazz pianist Bruno Heinen attempted to give recognition to the most acclaimed versions of the famous "Four Seasons" by Vivaldi. It should be noted that Heinen collaborated with Camerata Alma Viva to take on the task.

First off, Heinen praised the work of the composer Max Richter who attempted to bridge the gap between musical genres. It has been noted that Richter's minimalist recomposition of "Four Seasons" can speak in volumes, The Guardian reported.

On the contrary, Richter may be quoted as saying that he discarded 75 percent of the original material by Vivaldi. Apparently however, the soul of the original Vivaldi is still highly recognizable in the phased and looped original musical cells that "Recomposed" reharmonized.

For those who enjoy the appeal of tango, Astor Piazzolla's rendition of Vivaldi in Estaciones Porteñas (The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires) may take center stage. This tangoed version of "Four Seasons" has been noted to have an unusual instrumentation in that Piazzolla combined violin, bandoneón, electric guitar and double bass. In addition, Thomas Wilbrandt's "Sketches of Spring, Part 4-The Movie" was also noticed for lifting Vivaldi into the 80s with ambient electronic reimagining by the German Composer Wilbrandt.

Other notable renditions of Vivaldi includes Roland Petit's ballet set to the "Four Seasons." Aside from being a notable choice for ballet, dancers of "Les Quatre Saisons" also add a layer of description to the already programmatic work of Vivaldi. Finally, Heinen also considered the work of the orchestra of Spanish lycra-clad, electric-shred-guitarists known as the Sinfonity Electric Guitar Orchestra in the seminal work of Vivaldi in "Winter--Allegro non molto."

In other news, several musicians performed a recital of music by Vivaldi on authentic period instruments. The recital commenced with three Vivaldi short concerti and then continued with "Four Seasons." In Triple Concerto RV 554a, convincing statements with echoed repeats, a feeling of lyricism and well-defined cello passages was highlighted, Otago Daily Times reported.

Vivaldi remained the inspiration in Concerto in D major RV 121 with a movement of robust unison statements with subtle affirmation before adding in a brief Adagio, suspensions and resolved dissonance. Vivaldi was successfully recaptured in the final Allegro that raced away with bright capricious passages. The five musicians were also praised for their bird-like solos accompanied by shepherds' pipes, wasps and storms. Listen to Recomposed by Richter below:


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