Vivaldi: 12 Violin Concertos Op. 8 (incl. the first ever recording of The Four Seasons)

Vivaldi: 12 Violin Concertos Op. 8 (incl. the first ever recording of The Four Seasons)

by Louis Kaufman
     
 

Nowadays, recordings of The Four Seasons are so plentiful that it's hard to imagine a time when Vivaldi's concertos weren't familiar to even the most casual listener. This 1947 Carnegie Hall recording -- the first ever of Vivaldi's now-famous scores -- provides evidence of just such an age. The soloist, the great American violinist See more details below

Overview

Nowadays, recordings of The Four Seasons are so plentiful that it's hard to imagine a time when Vivaldi's concertos weren't familiar to even the most casual listener. This 1947 Carnegie Hall recording -- the first ever of Vivaldi's now-famous scores -- provides evidence of just such an age. The soloist, the great American violinist Louis Kaufman, was one of the most frequently recorded artists of the 20th century, appearing in numerous movie soundtracks and on a plethora of albums. More significantly, perhaps, he all but single-handedly launched the Vivaldi revival with this historic recording. One wonders if he had an inkling of the ripples he was to set in motion when he took the Carnegie stage that December night, joined by members of the New York Philharmonic and conductor Henry Swoboda. He was certainly aware of the recording's immediate success; it earned a Grand Prix du Disque after its release and promptly sparked the widespread interest in the composer's music that persists today. A few years later, in August 1950, Kaufman recorded the remaining eight concertos of the Op. 8 collection; that project required a trip to Brussels to hunt down surviving copies of the original parts -- a mark of the obscurity of Vivaldi's music even at that late date. This Naxos Historical series release collects on two discs the fruits of both of those sessions, and while the sound quality is limited, as one would expect on a recording of this vintage, Naxos has done an admirable job of cleaning up the old tapes to bring out Kaufman's violin. The bass remains quite muddled, however. Also to be expected is the old-school feeling to Kaufman's playing, with expressive portamentos and tempos that are free of the edginess of more recent "historically informed" recordings. A touchstone for the Baroque revival, then, and a fascinating addition to any classical collection.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/18/2005
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0636943129722
catalogNumber:
8110297-98

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Il cimento dell'Armonia e dell'Invenzione, concertos (12) for solo instrument, strings, and continuo, Op. 8  - Antonio Vivaldi  -  Concert Hall Orchestra  - Henry Swoboda  -  Winterthur Symphony Orchestra  -  Clemens Dahinden  - Edouard Nies-Berger  - Edith Weiss-Mann
  2. Double Violin Concerto, for 2 violins, strings & continuo in D Major, RV 513  - Antonio Vivaldi  -  Winterthur Symphony Orchestra  - Peter Rybar  -  Clemens Dahinden

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