- The Four Seasons (Il quattro stagione), concertos (4) for violin, strings & continuo ("Il cimento" Nos. 1-4) , Op. 8/1 - 4
Violinist James Ehnes has firmly established himself as a master of the modern repertoire and to a lesser extent, the Romantic, so his album of Antonio Vivaldi's perennial violin concertos, "The Four Seasons," Giuseppe Tartini's "Devil's Trill Sonata," and Jean-Marie Leclair's "Tambourin Sonata" is an unexpected detour into the Baroque. The fame and popularity of these pieces guarantees Ehnes an audience, and he, like everyone else, shouldn't be criticized for recording them, though his choice of the modern Sydney Symphony Orchestra for the Vivaldi, and Fritz Kreisler's arrangement of the Tartini for violin and piano, suggests that he isn't really trying to compete with most contemporary recordings, least of all the various period-style releases. His interpretations are straightforward, skillful, and serious, and the album is free of marketing gimmicks, so playing these favorites without pretensions of historicity may have been Ehnes' best angle. Certainly his modern violin sound would be hard to disguise in a Baroque reading, and his comfort level with period practices may have dictated his approach, which is practically spartan in comparison with some of the more outlandish recreations of "The Four Seasons." This CD is highly recommended to casual classical fans and Ehnes' dedicated followers, though purists will have plenty of choices elsewhere.
|Label:||Onyx Classics Uk|