Antonio Vivaldi

The Four Seasons (Il quattro stagione), 4 concertos for violin, strings & continuo, Op. 8/1-4 ("Il cimento" Nos. 1-4)

    Description by Rovi Staff

    Having produced hundreds of examples, Antonio Vivaldi must be regarded as the indisputable king of the Baroque instrumental concerto. In writing such works for a multitude of different instruments -- violin, viola d'amore, cello, mandolin, flute, oboe, bassoon, trumpet, horn, and others -- both alone and in various combinations, Vivaldi was a seminal figure in the development of a genre that attained Classical perfection in the works of Mozart and Beethoven, reached its pinnacle in the Romantic works of Paganini, Brahms, and Tchaikovsky, and enjoyed continued currency throughout the twentieth century in the works of composers diverse as Berg, Prokofiev, and Ligeti. Given the sheer quantity of Vivaldi's concertos for violin -- he wrote at least 35 in the key of D major alone -- it's not surprising that many have lapsed into near-total obscurity. On the other hand, it is a grouping of four concertos from Vivaldi's Op. 8 (1725) -- known collectively as The Four Seasons -- that remains the composer's best-known and most characteristic work. Aside from the features that have come to be associated with most of Vivaldi's music -- grace, virtuosity, energetic motoric rhythms -- the concertos of The Four Seasons are remarkable for their extraordinary programmatic imagination, which is counterbalanced by close attention to formal structure. Each concerto is accompanied by a descriptive poem whose imagery becomes an essential element of the musical fabric. The birds that greet the season "with their joyful song" in La primavera (Spring), for example, are colorfully depicted in the work's elaborately ornamented figuration. L'estate (Summer) is painted in similarly vivid colors that portray both the piping of a shepherd and a gathering storm. L'autunno (Autumn) is marked by a folksy harvest celebration and the galloping of a hunting party on horseback. The bleakness and dissonance of L'inverno (Winter) create a severe but expressive portrait that provides a striking summation of Vivaldi's pictorial ingenuity in these four works.

    Parts/Movements

    1. 1. Allegro
    2. 2. Largo e pianissimo sempre
    3. 3. Danza pastorale. Allegro
    4. 1. Allegro non molto
    5. 2. Adagio
    6. 3. Tempo impetuoso d'Estate. Presto
    7. 1. Allegro
    8. 2. Ubriachi dormienti. Adagio molto
    9. 3. La caccia. Allegro
    10. 1. Allegro non molto
    11. 2. Largo
    12. 3. Allegro

    Appears On

    Year Title / Performer Label / Catalog # AllMusic Rating
    2021
    Château de Versailles
    CVS 042
    2020
    PentaTone Classics
    PTC 5186746
    2020
    Passacaille
    PAS 1062
    2020
    Philharmonia Records
    PHR 0112
    2019
    Sony Classical
    19075986352
    2019
    Sony Classical
    19075925492
    2019
    Harmonia Mundi
    HMM 932061
    2018
    Genuin
    GEN 18553
    2018
    Accent
    ACC 24352
    2018
    Oehms Classics
    OC 019
    2018
    OSJ Alive
    OSJCD 04
    2018
    Mediaphon
    2018
    Linn Records
    CKR 365
    2018
    Muso
    MU 028
    2018
    Channel Classics
    CCSSA40318
    2018
    BSX Records
    BSXCD 9119
    2017
    Simax Classics
    PSC 1356
    2017
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4796922
    2017
    IDIS
    6723
    2017
    Masterworks / Sony Classical
    88985395202
    2017
    Naxos
    8503293
    2017
    Navona Records
    NV 6114
    2017
    SWR Music
    SWR 19041CD
    2017
    Alpha
    281
    2017
    Alba
    ABCD 402
    2017
    Sony Classical
    88985403742
    2016
    Various Artists
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4796220
    2016
    Solo Musica
    SM 235
    2016
    Chandos
    CHSA 5175
    2016
    Challenge Classics
    CC 72700
    2016
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4796316
    2016
    Decca / Philips
    4788977
    2016
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4795983
    2016
    Warner Classics
    0825646486953
    2016
    Warner Classics
    0190295929718
    2016
    RCA Red Seal
    88985321742
    2016
    Oehms Classics
    OC 1822
    2016
    Brilliant Classics
    95200BR
    2016
    Stockfisch
    4086
    2016
    ABC Classics
    2016
    ABC Classics
    ABC 4812415
    2016
    Berlin Classics
    0300829BC
    2016
    Warner Classics
    554598
    2015
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4795448
    2015
    Ars Produktion
    ARS 38170
    2015
    Coviello Classics
    COV 91514
    2015
    Harmonia Mundi
    HMX 290874547
    2015
    Contrastes
    CR 9201410
    2015
    Harmonia Mundi
    HMX 2902061
    2015
    Avanti / Avanticlassic
    1042
    2015
    Sony Classical
    88875051512
    2015
    Warner Classics
    0825646140534
    2015
    Signum Classics
    SIGCD 437
    2015
    Naïve
    OP 30559
    2015
    Finlandia
    8573847142
    2015
    K-Tel
    136144
    2015
    ZYX Classics
    CLB 10172E
    2015
    ZYX Classics / ZYX Music
    CLB 10172
    2015
    Alpha
    ALPHA 312
    2015
    BIS
    BIS 2103
    2015
    Onyx Classics
    ONYX 4134
    2015
    Warner Classics
    0825646130191
    2015
    Avie
    AV 2344
    2015
    Sony Classical
    88875076722
    2014
    Melodiya
    MELCD 1002230
    2014
    Decca
    4786883
    2014
    Various Artists
    L'Oiseau-Lyre / Decca
    4786753
    2014
    eOne
    EOMCD 7790
    2014
    RCA Red Seal
    88843026332
    2014
    Naïve
    NC 40043
    2014
    Zig Zag Territoires
    ZZT 349
    2014
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    OC 429
    2014
    ZYX Music
    CLA 101792
    2014
    Leonardo / Urania
    LDV 14015
    2014
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    HCD 32729
    2014
    Silvery Records
    SRCD 069
    2014
    Signum Classics
    SIGCD 377
    2014
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    ABC 4811321
    2014
    Tuxedo Music
    TUX 1214
    2014
    Warner Classics
    2564628814
    2014
    Obsidian Records
    CCLCD 713
    2014
    Various Artists
    Naïve
    OP 30561
    2013
    Archiv Produktion
    002894791045AB55
    2013
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    2013
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    4317612
    2013
    Various Artists
    Music & Melody / ZYX
    MUS 50172
    2013
    Berlin Classics
    0300534BC
    2013
    Finlandia
    2013
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2013
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4810350
    2013
    Connector
    598672
    2013
    Phil.Harmonie
    PHIL 6027
    2013
    Dynamic
    CDS 760
    2013
    Naïve
    NC 40018
    2013
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    94637
    2013
    Hi. Q
    HIQXRCD 25
    2013
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    2564647630
    2013
    Lim
    054
    2013
    Oratorio
    CCT 70162
    2012
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    DUX 0904
    2012
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    8869794532
    2012
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    Naxos
    8501061
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    Naxos
    8501058
    2012
    Nonesuch
    7559798726
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    2012
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    Warner Classics
    2012
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    4790135
    2012
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    2012
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    PHU 024
    2012
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    2012
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    5099960250
    2012
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    7777591
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    LDV 14001
    2012
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    5099967833
    2012
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    4779971
    2012
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    5099960231
    2012
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    NI 6149
    2012
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    2012
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    9101852
    2012
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    4783369
    2012
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    2012
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    2012
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    2011
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    002894779464
    2011
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    KTC 1429
    2011
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    233318
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    1023
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    OP 30530
    2011
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    1218
    2011
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    509990821572
    2011
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    697
    2011
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    2564632642
    2011
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    632646
    2011
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    0300243BC
    2011
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    AP011
    2011
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    2011
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    AR 004
    2011
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    SIGCD231
    2011
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    Warner Classics
    79265
    2011
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    5099972917626
    2011
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    TR157
    2011
    Stradivarius
    33883
    2011
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    8802034
    2011
    Linn Records
    CKD 365
    2011
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    2011
    Decca
    2011
    Denon Records
    2011
    Naxos
    NBD0016
    2011
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    2011
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    OP 30517
    2011
    Red Bus Classical
    RCLAS 024
    2011
    Philharmonia Baroque Productions
    PBP 03
    2010
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    EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics
    5099945852
    2010
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    Denon Records
    2010
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    Denon Records
    2010
    Music for Little People / Rhino
    2010
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    BD Jazz / Zebralution
    2010
    Various Artists
    Denon Records
    2010
    Ondine
    254
    2010
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    902061
    2010
    Eroica Classical Recordings
    3175
    2010
    Denon Records
    2010
    Denon Records
    2010
    Denon Records
    2010
    Dal Segno
    058
    2010
    Denon Records
    2010
    EMI Music Distribution
    965942
    2010
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    UMI_00778325651
    2010
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    88697714342
    2010
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    8869768961
    2009
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    5099969822
    2009
    Various Artists
    EMI Classics / Warner Classics
    5099996700
    2009
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4778167
    2009
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2009
    Red Priest
    3
    2009
    Ayva / Ayva Clasica
    1
    2009
    X5 Music Group
    15400
    2009
    Various Artists
    Sony Classical Essential Classics
    742567
    2009
    World of Classic / Zebralution
    2009
    Various Artists
    Decca
    4781149
    2009
    Various Artists
    Decca
    2009
    Denon Records
    2009
    Various Artists
    Denon Records
    2009
    Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2009
    Denon Records
    2009
    Denon Records
    2009
    Denon Records
    2009
    Sheridan Square Records
    28090
    2009
    Teldec
    4690548
    2009
    EMI Classics
    2009
    Naxos
    8570031
    2009
    Denon Records
    2009
    Various Artists
    Denon Records
    2009
    Telarc Distribution
    60698
    2009
    Telarc Distribution
    80698
    2009
    Berlin Classics
    0115212BC
    2009
    Denon Records
    2009
    Ancalagon
    134
    2009
    EMI Classics / Warner Classics
    5099926413
    2009
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    5099926419
    2008
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    EMI Classics / Warner Classics
    5099951035
    2008
    Sony Classical Essential Classics
    706087
    2008
    Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2008
    Brilliant Classics
    93625
    2008
    Sony Classical
    88697295759
    2008
    DHM Deutsche Harmonia Mundi
    88697281822
    2008
    Various Artists
    Berlin Classics
    0184362
    2008
    Various Artists
    Brilliant
    93169
    2008
    Tacet
    163
    2008
    EMI Classics / Warner Classics
    5099951203
    2008
    Decca
    4437682
    2008
    Madacy Entertainment
    53755
    2008
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    777366
    2008
    ABC Classics
    4766807
    2008
    Virgin Classics
    504381
    2008
    Archiv Produktion
    9031
    2008
    Brilliant Classics
    93091
    2008
    Deutsche Grammophon
    469480
    2008
    Zig Zag Territoires
    ZZT080803
    2008
    EMI Classics
    509449
    2008
    EMI Classics
    2008
    Sony Classical / Sony Classical Essential Classics
    88697357052
    2008
    Sony Classical Essential Classics
    711013
    2008
    Deutsche Grammophon
    474567
    2008
    Philips
    4647502
    2008
    Deutsche Grammophon
    00440 073 4415
    2008
    The Masters Classics
    1502
    2008
    TON 4 / Zebralution
    2007
    Scandinavian Classics
    220577
    2007
    Philips
    2007
    Various Artists
    Universal Classics & Jazz
    2007
    Various Artists
    Amado Classics
    4000
    2007
    Cembal d'amour
    125
    2007
    BBC Legends
    42102
    2007
    EMI Classics
    2007
    EMI Classics
    3887732
    2007
    Kultur
    D4250
    2007
    Retrospective
    93407
    2007
    Decca
    4758536
    2007
    Various Artists
    Decca
    2007
    CRD Records
    CRD 3325
    2007
    Supraphon
    39312
    2007
    Selection
    8571071
    2007
    Apex
    2007
    Grafisound
    GS 175202
    2007
    Accent
    24179
    2007
    Brilliant Classics
    93314
    2007
    L'Oiseau-Lyre
    4759098
    2007
    Naïve
    30455
    2007
    Apex
    2007
    Elatus
    2007
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    5112
    2007
    Warner Classics
    2007
    EMI Classics / Warner Classics
    0946394431
    2007
    Deutsche Grammophon
    000957602
    2007
    Kultur
    4136
    2007
    ORF
    322
    2006
    Coviello Classics
    COV 30202
    2006
    Nonesuch
    2006
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    85669
    2006
    Quartz
    2036
    2006
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    000646702
    2006
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    92703
    2006
    Various Artists
    Sony Music Distribution
    82876 85244-2
    2006
    EMI Classics
    3716092
    2006
    Capriccio Records
    68102
    2006
    Telos
    8
    2006
    Philips
    000677810
    2006
    Disques XXI
    21528
    2006
    Rca Red Seal
    748456
    2006
    Naxos
    8557920
    2006
    BIS
    1605
    2006
    Decca
    662702
    2006
    BCI Music (Brentwood Communication)
    41427
    2005
    Various Artists
    Deutsche Grammophon
    477 5472
    2005
    Tactus
    672244
    2005
    Arte Nova
    277810
    2005
    BCI Music (Brentwood Communication) / BCI-Eclipse Distribution
    40540
    2005
    Various Artists
    Deutsche Grammophon
    000426802
    2005
    Platinum Entertainment
    3799
    2005
    Haenssler
    98490
    2005
    Delta Distribution
    16372
    2005
    Callisto Records
    404
    2005
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    4775263
    2005
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    1763
    2005
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    3778
    2005
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    1247
    2005
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    2005
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    2005
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    2005
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    1241
    2005
    Decca
    000550736
    2005
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    2005
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    2005
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    2005
    Decca
    000529802
    2005
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    82005
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    2005
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    2005
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    5869902
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    Artemis Classics
    1264
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    5869
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    79404
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    5486
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    1709
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    14395
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    93852
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    31392
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    EMI Classics
    576660
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    High Definition Classics
    058
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    CPO
    777037
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    2004
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    60158
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    3025
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    6519
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    150715
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    4761716
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    2004
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    538
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    14504
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    0129
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    1188
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    40036
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    Delta Distribution
    40100
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    562167
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    1659
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    2003
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    000005602
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    4819
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    203
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    90317
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    40043
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    64015
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    1262
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    5576482
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    98427
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    52001
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    2204
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    30363
    2003
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    474616
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    99914
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    300275
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    2003
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    7243545565
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    2003
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    000122302
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    000321202
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    30347
    2003
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    000129119
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    90391
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    87282
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    3093
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    14586
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    472358
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    433523
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    7036
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    36036
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    0017362
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    94338
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    90606
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    74761
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    60070
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    75605570452
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    3957153
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    90109
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    55
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    7379
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    B49
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    242131
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    68001
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    3280
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    1955129
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    1915
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    1132
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    7559795682
    2000
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    17302
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    17382
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    89039
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    6428
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    6518
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    7704
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    469220
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    6427
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    24468
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    7019
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    1133
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    09742
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    6614
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    2000
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    10722
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    39
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    2686
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    7019
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    80001
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    1905129
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    25326
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    15818
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    1438
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    1713
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    62000
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    4980824
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    4980822
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    2029
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    3624
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    3854
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    4769
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    18292
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    1455
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    1840
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    1893
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    8407
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    1155
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    422402
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    420356
    1998
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    27781
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    3842
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    2809
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    60711
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    7243819808
    1998
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    11525
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    64645
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    68913
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    1010
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    81261
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    1014
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    18036
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    8815
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    64353
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    1997
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    77384
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    7243556253
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    00692
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    63284
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    3080
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    98107
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    47369
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    907153
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    42022
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    94811
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    97983
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    2504
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    67193
    1995
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    5686252
    1995
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    3800
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    7680
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    83177
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    55006
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    9101
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    5631
    1995
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    801
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    7630
    1995
    Deutsche Grammophon
    439933
    1995
    Decca
    448 225-2DEC
    1995
    Seraphim UK
    68538
    1995
    Ambassador
    1010
    1995
    Naxos
    8 553219
    1995