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Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

Sir Neville Marriner

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

...appealingly played
UNI007 (Decca)
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Track Time Listen
1
Concerto for Violin and Strings in E, Op.8, No.1, R.269 "La Primavera" - i) Allegro

Concerto for Violin and Strings in E, Op.8, No.1, R.269 "La Primavera" - i) Allegro

Composer Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor Sir Neville Marriner
Soloist Alan Loveday
Band The Academy of St Martin in the Fields
03:15 Play
2
Concerto for Violin and Strings in E, Op.8, No.1, R.269 "La Primavera" - ii) Largo

Concerto for Violin and Strings in E, Op.8, No.1, R.269 "La Primavera" - ii) Largo

Composer Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor Sir Neville Marriner
Soloist Alan Loveday
Band The Academy of St Martin in the Fields
03:30 Play
3
Concerto for Violin and Strings in E, Op.8, No.1, R.269 "La Primavera" - iii) Allegro (Danza pastorale)

Concerto for Violin and Strings in E, Op.8, No.1, R.269 "La Primavera" - iii) Allegro (Danza pastorale)

Composer Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor Sir Neville Marriner
Soloist Alan Loveday
Band The Academy of St Martin in the Fields
04:38 Play
4
Concerto for Violin and Strings in G minor, Op.8, No.2, R.315 "L'estate" - i) Allegro non molto - Allegro

Concerto for Violin and Strings in G minor, Op.8, No.2, R.315 "L'estate" - i) Allegro non molto - Allegro

Composer Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor Sir Neville Marriner
Soloist Alan Loveday
Band The Academy of St Martin in the Fields
05:53 Play
5
Concerto for Violin and Strings in G minor, Op.8, No.2, R.315 "L'estate" - ii) Adagio - Presto - Adagio

Concerto for Violin and Strings in G minor, Op.8, No.2, R.315 "L'estate" - ii) Adagio - Presto - Adagio

Composer Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor Sir Neville Marriner
Soloist Alan Loveday
Band The Academy of St Martin in the Fields
02:36 Play
6
Concerto for Violin and Strings in G minor, Op.8, No.2, R.315 "L'estate" - iii) Presto (Tempo impetuoso d'estate)

Concerto for Violin and Strings in G minor, Op.8, No.2, R.315 "L'estate" - iii) Presto (Tempo impetuoso d'estate)

Composer Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor Sir Neville Marriner
Soloist Alan Loveday
Band The Academy of St Martin in the Fields
02:49 Play
7
Concerto for Violin and Strings in F, Op.8, No.3, R.293 "L'autunno" - i) Allegro (ballo, e canto de' villanelli)

Concerto for Violin and Strings in F, Op.8, No.3, R.293 "L'autunno" - i) Allegro (ballo, e canto de' villanelli)

Composer Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor Sir Neville Marriner
Soloist Alan Loveday
Band The Academy of St Martin in the Fields
05:04 Play
8
Concerto for Violin and Strings in F, Op.8, No.3, R.293 "L'autunno" - ii) Adagio molto (Ubriachi dormienti)

Concerto for Violin and Strings in F, Op.8, No.3, R.293 "L'autunno" - ii) Adagio molto (Ubriachi dormienti)

Composer Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor Sir Neville Marriner
Soloist Alan Loveday
Band The Academy of St Martin in the Fields
02:56 Play
9
Concerto for Violin and Strings in F, Op.8, No.3, R.293 "L'autunno" - iii) Allegro (Lacaccia)

Concerto for Violin and Strings in F, Op.8, No.3, R.293 "L'autunno" - iii) Allegro (Lacaccia)

Composer Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor Sir Neville Marriner
Soloist Alan Loveday
Band The Academy of St Martin in the Fields
03:27 Play
10
Concerto for Violin and Strings in F minor, Op.8, No.4, R.297 "L'inverno" - i) Allegro non molto

Concerto for Violin and Strings in F minor, Op.8, No.4, R.297 "L'inverno" - i) Allegro non molto

Composer Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor Sir Neville Marriner
Soloist Alan Loveday
Band The Academy of St Martin in the Fields
03:21 Play
11
Concerto for Violin and Strings in F minor, Op.8, No.4, R.297 "L'inverno" - ii) Largo

Concerto for Violin and Strings in F minor, Op.8, No.4, R.297 "L'inverno" - ii) Largo

Composer Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor Sir Neville Marriner
Soloist Alan Loveday
Band The Academy of St Martin in the Fields
02:19 Play
12
Concerto for Violin and Strings in F minor, Op.8, No.4, R.297 "L'inverno" - iii) Allegro

Concerto for Violin and Strings in F minor, Op.8, No.4, R.297 "L'inverno" - iii) Allegro

Composer Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor Sir Neville Marriner
Soloist Alan Loveday
Band The Academy of St Martin in the Fields
02:58 Play
13
Concerto for 2 Oboes, Strings and Continuo in D minor, R.535 - i) Largo - Allegro

Concerto for 2 Oboes, Strings and Continuo in D minor, R.535 - i) Largo - Allegro

Composer Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor Sir Neville Marriner
Soloist Celia Nicklin / Neil Black - Oboes
Band The Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Arranger Christopher Hogwood
03:45 Play
14
Concerto for 2 Oboes, Strings and Continuo in D minor, R.535 - ii) Largo

Concerto for 2 Oboes, Strings and Continuo in D minor, R.535 - ii) Largo

Composer Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor Sir Neville Marriner
Soloist Celia Nicklin / Neil Black - Oboes
Band The Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Arranger Christopher Hogwood
02:32 Play
15
Concerto for 2 Oboes, Strings and Continuo in D minor, R.535 - iii) Allegro molto

Concerto for 2 Oboes, Strings and Continuo in D minor, R.535 - iii) Allegro molto

Composer Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor Sir Neville Marriner
Soloist Celia Nicklin / Neil Black - Oboes
Band The Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Arranger Christopher Hogwood
02:49 Play
16
Bassoon Concerto in A minor, R.498 - i) Allegro (ma molto moderato)

Bassoon Concerto in A minor, R.498 - i) Allegro (ma molto moderato)

Composer Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor Sir Neville Marriner
Soloist Martin Gatt
Band The Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Arranger Christopher Hogwood
04:43 Play
17
Bassoon Concerto in A minor, R.498 - ii) Larghetto

Bassoon Concerto in A minor, R.498 - ii) Larghetto

Composer Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor Sir Neville Marriner
Soloist Martin Gatt
Band The Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Arranger Christopher Hogwood
03:52 Play
18
Bassoon Concerto in A minor, R.498 - iii) Allegro

Bassoon Concerto in A minor, R.498 - iii) Allegro

Composer Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor Sir Neville Marriner
Soloist Martin Gatt
Band The Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Arranger Christopher Hogwood
03:09 Play
19
Flautino Concerto in C, R.443 - i) Allegro

Flautino Concerto in C, R.443 - i) Allegro

Composer Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor Sir Neville Marriner
Soloist William Bennett
Band The Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Arranger Christopher Hogwood
03:57 Play
20
Flautino Concerto in C, R.443 - ii) Largo

Flautino Concerto in C, R.443 - ii) Largo

Composer Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor Sir Neville Marriner
Soloist William Bennett
Band The Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Arranger Christopher Hogwood
03:48 Play
21
Flautino Concerto in C, R.443 - iii) allegro molto

Flautino Concerto in C, R.443 - iii) allegro molto

Composer Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor Sir Neville Marriner
Soloist William Bennett
Band The Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Arranger Christopher Hogwood
03:13 Play
Total Running Time 75 minutes
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Named one of the 'Penguin Classics', this recording by Sir Neville Marriner of Vivaldi's classic Four Seasons is a must-have. Among the first releases in Decca's 'Originals' series is this 1969 recording (issued in 1970) of The Four Seasons with Alan Loveday and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.

This album is licensed for download from Decca where you can buy the CD.  

Download includes - cover art
Academy of St Martin in the Fields

Academy of St Martin in the Fields

Academy of St Martin in the Fields has an enthusiasm for fresh, brilliant interpretation of the world's most loved classical music.
profile & recordings >>
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi

Vivaldi is recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers. Known mainly for composing instrumental concertos, especially for the violin, as well as sacred choral works and over 40 operas.
profile & recordings >>
Sir Neville Marriner

Sir Neville Marriner

Sir Neville Marriner began life as a violinist, playing first in a string quartet and trio, then in the London Symphony Orchestra, during which period he founded the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.
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'There is an element of fantasy in this performance that sets it apart from all direct comparison ... Continually one seems to be hearing this scoring for the very first time, and the delicacy of the rhythmic pointing is even more striking than one expects from the superb St Martin's ensemble ... A superb demonstration recording too with its range of tone-colour and atmosphere.' Gramophone 

Surely there can't be room for yet another reissue of the most popular work in the classical repertoire? - Well, there is certainly room for this particular recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons; for there has always been something very special about this memorable recording which stems from the original Argo catalogue. 

This recording was made in St John's, Smith Square (a venue ideal for recording Baroque music) and, due to undiminishing demand, it has held its own for close on 30 years - and it has achieved this without a fill-up and at a playing time of around 43 minutes. This magical performance of Vivaldi's descriptive masterpiece is now available with a generous bonus of three further Vivaldi concertos played by the same artists. What is even more indicative of the superlative quality of this performance is that, even played on modern instruments, it has survived through the potent emergence of the authentic instrument boom, and still commands a key position amongst the versions of this much-recorded work.

Way back in 1959, Neville Marriner gathered together a few musicians for the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields' first rehearsal, and this marked the start of what was to become one of the most significant success stories in music. The Academy, in their earlier days, were captured on disc by Argo (plus a handful on L'Oiseau-Lyre) and many of their finest recordings stem from this period - The Four Seasons being probably the most famous. With Alan Loveday as soloist, Neville Marriner as director and Simon Preston at the organ and harpsichord, this recording immediately became a favourite with record shops and public alike. No other recording of this work has so boldly represented the vivid contrasts of Vivaldi's sparkling score - if this version of the chilly opening to 'Winter' fails to send shivers down the spine, the listener will need to take medical advice!

Recording Information:

Recording location: St John's, Smith Square, London, September 1969 (Four Seasons) and July-August 1975.
Producers: Michael Bremner (Four Seasons), Chris Hazell.
Recording engineers: Stanley Goodall (Four Seasons & Wind Concertos), John Dunkerley

Remastered at 96kHz in 24-bit stereo from the original analogue mastertapes.

Alan Loveday violin
Neil Black oboe
Celia Nicklin oboe
Martin Gatt bassoon
William Bennett piccolo
Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields
Neville Marriner


Extract from the original sleeve notes by Stephen Petitt:

Even in 1970, the group [ASMIF] has a large number of recordings under its belt. Initially it recorded for the then independent L'Oiseau-Lyre label, but from 1964 it has cultivated a fertile relationship with Decca's innovative Argo label. Most of the Argo recordings have been produced by Michael Bremner, and he is the man in the control room on this occasion. Alongside him, as usual, sits Stan Goodall, the engineer whose sharp ears are focused on getting the sound balance exactly right. The ever-reliable Alan Loveday is the solo violinist, while at the organ and harpsichord - variety being the spice of a good Baroque concerto, the Academy has decided to use both - sits Simon Preston, the young organist of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. Musicians and technicians together constitute a team that is thoroughly at ease with the pressures of the playing, as always, full of precision and vitality. Nothing the Academy has ever done, Marriner is proud to boast, has ever been less than thoroughly prepared, and these sessions are no exception. In due course the recording hits the shops. The critics love it, and it also proves an astonishing success with the public - the two don't always go together- even by the Academy's standards. The word goes round among music-lovers that if you are looking for a Four Seasons that has it all, this is the version to buy, and before very long the recording has acquired the rare status of being a classic.

A treasure trove in the Universal vaults
23 February 2012
Studio Masters from Decca and DG!
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