Luka Šulić

Antonio Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

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The photogenic Luka Šulić is one half of the crossover duo 2Cellos, which has scored strong album sales with collections mixing classical pieces and pop hits. Here he emerges as a solo act with an adaptation of Vivaldi's familiar Four Seasons violin concertos for cello and orchestra. You may not feel that another Four Seasons is needed, much less one for the cello, but the adaptation is Šulić's own, and he has done an intelligent job of it, backed up by the requisite virtuoso playing. Most of the lines are transposed an octave down, which tends to make the cello get lost in the texture. Šulić counteracts this by taking these passages at blistering speed, which turns the cello into a kind of block of sound added to the texture. In sparser writing (sample the famous middle movement in the Winter concerto), he is somewhat brisk but much more restrained. Part of what makes it work is the punchy backing from the Archi dell'Accademia di Santa Cecilia under Luigi Piovano. Cellist and orchestra work together to create a high-octane Vivaldi reading that Šulić fans coming from rock might enjoy. In no way does he cut corners as a classical player, and there is something here for everyone to enjoy. Recommended.

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