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Few readers will be without at least one recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Well, here is another and it’s rather good. Violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock is one of our most experienced period instrument specialists and here she combines impeccable taste with a strong technique to bring something fresh to Vivaldi’s music. Not for her the vacuous and ephemeral gestures with which some of her competitors attempt falsely to enliven the nature imagery. Instead she colours Vivaldi’s pastoral world delicately and within the restrained vocabulary of his time. Perhaps it is the three remaining concertos which will tempt those whose shelves are already well seasoned. Il favorito and L’amoroso are among the composer’s best sustained violin concertos and are deservedly well loved. The B flat Concerto, by contrast, is slenderly known and is evidently a late work of merit. The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, under Nicholas McGegan, provides strong and colourful support for which Blumenstock, too, must claim responsibility.

Nicholas Anderson Read the full review on Agora Classica


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