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Vivaldi, Price: 6.71 Euros (Jewelbox)
Each additional coverpak (single CD) is only 8.29 Euros and each additional coverbook (double CD) is only 14.49 Euros.

One of the most famous piece of music of all time - the "Concerti delle Quattro Stagioni" - in a critically acclaimed version by Maestro Stefanato and the Camerata Strumentale di Santa Cecilia.
CD Contents:
I Concerti delle Quattro Stagioni

Excerpts from the original CD booklet:
Il Cimento del I'Armonia e deII'Invenzionc, Opera 8
The great popularity achieved by this set of twelve concertos which go to make up "Il Cimento" is due to the first four. Each one of these is dedicated to descriptions and evocations of one of the year's seasons. This
music thus belongs to that important line of development which seeks to represent nature. A great deal of the musical vocabulary to be found in Haydn (Le Matin, Le Midi, Le Soir, 1761) and in Beethoven (Pastorale, 1808) can be traced back to this cycle by Vivaldi.
The concertos, however, despite this descriptive and evocative role, remain an evident expression of the character and purpose of the musical forms of the time, and are thus natural examples of the eighteenth-century concerto.
In these pieces Vivaldi achieves a truly magnificent use of the opportuni-ties offered by strings. He invents new tones and alignments, and ranges far and wide across the potentialities and capacities of these instruments. There are forceful unisons, flights of demisemiquavers, elegant mutes, and contrasts between strings and pizzicato, to record the most obvious.

CONCERTO in F major for Violin, Strings and Organ (or Harpsichord) n. I "Spring".
This is the most famous of the four concertos. Like the other three it is accom-panied by an explanatory sonnet, perhaps written by Vivaldi himself which adds further force and verve to the descriptive features of the music.
The first introductory verses open the allegro with the phrase: "Spring has arrived to be greeted by the joyous birds". The song of the birds is clearly heard and is entrusted to the three solo violins in a way which is absolutely loyal to the rhythmic structure. Immediately afterward "the springs flow with sweet murmuring" and the violins imitate the running of the water. We then encounter the episode of thunder and lighting which is magnificently ren-dered by the violent repetition of the same note.
Three other splendid descriptive elements are to be found in the largo. They overlay each other and create an intense feeling of space: "the murmuring of the leaves" expressed by the violins; the image of the sleeping goatherd evoked by the first violin; and the imitation of the barking "faithful dog" achieved by tbe repeated notes of the violas.

CONCERTO in G minor for Violin, Strings and Organ (or Harpsichord) n. 2 "Summer".
This piece is rich in charm and is highly descriptive from the very first moments of its allegro non molto. "In a state of languor because of the heat" declare the notes on the score and the music itself seems to languish suffocated by the heat and the sun. We hear the song of the cuckoo, the lark and other small birds; the calm of afternoon sleep disturbed by the buzzing of the flies, as is so well expressed by the first violin (adagio). A storm of musical instruments communicates the "impetuous summer weather" (presto). Scales are used to represent the lightning, notes are played over and over again (as in "Spring"), and harmonic progressions are employed to evoke the blowing of the wind.

CONCERTO in Fa major for Violin, Strings and Organ (or Harpsichord) n. 3 "Autumn"
With the initial allegro "the dance and song of the village children", Vivaldi describes a country scene made up of the counterpoising of songs and dancing. In terms of melody and rhythm, the rustic dance presented here certainly follows a popular dance of the lime. The effects of the "liquid of Bacchus" are evoked by a solo violin with notable virtuosity (adagio molto) until the moment when everybody "finishes their enjoyment by going to sleep". There are other important images in this allegro when the "hunters go out with their horns hunting at dawn, carrying guns and sticks".

CONCERTO in F minor for Violin Strings and Organ (or Harpsichord) n. 4 "Winter".
The whole of this fourth concerto communicates a strong feeling of cold and of desperation, elements which we do not find in the other pieces. The initial "frozen trembling amongst the shining snows" (allegro non troppo) is achieved with repeated notes which bring to mind a similar passage from "King Arthur" by Henry Purcell (1659-1695). The adagio, with the rain evoked by the plucking of the strings of the violins, parallels the "return to the hearth, calm and happy". "Walking upon the ice, falling down, running so hard that the ice breaks and gives way", the "hard and searing wind", and "all the winds of the world", are the many telling descriptions which conclude this concerto.

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