Seasons: Oliver Davis, Antonio Vivaldi

Seasons: Oliver Davis, Antonio Vivaldi

by Grace Davidson


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Seasons: Oliver Davis, Antonio Vivaldi

Credit composer Oliver Davis and conductor Ivor Setterfield with novel ideas here: the practice of pairing Antonio Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" violin concertos with a contemporary work is common (and hasn't been particularly successful as a strategy for boosting the contemporary works), but Davis and Setterfield, who conceived this project together, have an innovative take on the combination. The new wrinkle is that Davis does not simply write a work evoking the four seasons of the year, but rather returns to the poems about the seasons of which Vivaldi's works are a programmatic representation. These sonnets may be by Vivaldi himself, and it's good when they're included with performances of the "Four Seasons." Davis gives them settings for soprano and orchestra in a neo-Baroque style akin to those of Philip Glass and Michael Nyman, and together his four pieces make an effective curtain-raiser for the Vivaldi. Seasons, of course, stands or falls on the recording of Vivaldi's concertos themselves, and here the news is good. Setterfield's modern-instrument Trafalgar Sinfonia is one of the best of England's numerous small orchestras, but the star of the show is violinist Kerenza Peacock, with a gutsy, physical performance taken at fast but not outlandish tempos. This familiar score has the feel of being approached for the first time, and the program hangs together better than do those of other recordings of this type. Worth adding to collections despite the abundance of existing "Four Seasons" recordings.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/09/2015
Label: Signum Uk
UPC: 0635212043721
catalogNumber: 437


  1. Anno Epilogue, for violin, viola, cello & orchestra
  2. The Four Seasons (Il quattro stagione), concertos (4) for violin, strings & continuo ("Il cimento" Nos. 1-4) , Op. 8/1 - 4
  3. Anno, song cycle for soprano & orchestra

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