While it's not clear at first why this album is titled Four Seasons of Love (with no intended reference to Donna Summer's 1976 album of the same name), that should quickly become apparent in this Stradivarius release of Antonio Vivaldi's Le quattro stagione, played in authentic period style by violinist Davide Monti and Il Tempio Armonico, the Baroque orchestra of Verona, directed by Alberto Rasi. To the extent that these skilled Italian musicians take their time with the concertos and lavish them with an extraordinary amount of ornamentation, expressive melodic inflections, and innovative handling of the ensemble sound, one might well accept that the "love" of the title really pertains to their genuine feelings for the music. This is decidedly a connoisseur's Four Seasons, and far from a rushed or rote performance; one can only suppose that the little digressions and intermittent improvisations that Monti and Rasi create show a kind of flirtatious dalliance with the music that, in short order, becomes amorous involvement. The two filler works, the Concerto madrigalesco and the Concerto in D major, also receive the same loving treatment, so the whole album is a study of how delightful familiar Baroque pieces can be when transformed by the passion and creativity of the performers. Highly recommended.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|The Four Seasons|
|Concerto Madrigalesco, RV 129|
|Concerto in Do maggiore, RV 114|