This was the only commercial recording that Guido Cantelli made with the New York Philharmonic, an ensemble which he conducted frequently during his brief international career. It was also the only recording he made for American Columbia, and the original LP labels state that he appeared “through the courtesy of H.M.V.” Despite its importance for these reasons, it has never appeared in a CD reissue*. The present transfer was taken from original grey “six-eyes” label American LP pressings. - Mark Obert-Thorn
(*Since releasing this recording Pristine has been made aware of at least one previous, if limited, CD issue)
The Four Seasons
notes from Wikipedia
The Four Seasons (Italian: Le quattro stagioni) is a set of four violin concertos by Antonio Vivaldi. Composed in 1723, The Four Seasons is Vivaldi's best-known work, and is among the most popular pieces of Baroque music. The texture of each concerto is varied, each resembling its respective season. For example, "Winter" is peppered with silvery staccato notes from the high strings, calling to mind icy rain, whereas "Summer" evokes a thunderstorm in its final movement, which is why said movement is often dubbed 'Storm'.
The first recording of it is a matter of some dispute. There is a CD of one recording made by Alfredo Campoli (Pearl GEMM CD 9151) which is taken from acetates of a French radio broadcast. These acetates are thought to date from early in 1939. The first proper electronic recording was made in 1942 by Bernardino Molinari, and though his adaptation is somewhat different from what we have come to expect from modern performances it is clearly recognizable. This Molinari recording was first issued on six double-sided 78s, then on LP in 1950 and now re-issued on CD (two versions are available, one with more extensive sleeve notes giving the political background). The first commercially successful recording was I Musici's 1955 recording (it was that ensemble's first recording of any music). This recording renewed such interest in the work that there are now more than 300 recordings of it.
The concertos were first published in 1725 as part of a set of twelve concerti, Vivaldi's Op. 8, entitled Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione (The Contest between Harmony and Invention). The first four concertos were designated Le quattro stagioni, each being named after a season. Each one is in three movements, with a slow movement between two faster ones. At the time of writing The Four Seasons, the modern solo form of the concerto had not yet been defined (typically a solo instrument and accompanying orchestra). Vivaldi's original arrangement for solo violin with string quartet and basso continuo helped to define the form.
List of concertos and movements
Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269, "La primavera" (Spring)
Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 8, RV 315, "L'estate" (Summer)
Allegro non molto
Concerto No. 3 in F major, Op. 8, RV 293, "L'autunno" (Autumn)
Concerto No. 4 in F minor, Op. 8, RV 297, "L'inverno" (Winter)
Allegro non molto
Sonnets and allusions
The four concertos were written to go along with four sonnets. Though it is not known who wrote these sonnets, there is a theory that Vivaldi wrote them himself.
In addition to these sonnets, Vivaldi provided instructions such as "The barking dog" (in the second movement of "Spring"), "Languor caused by the heat" (in the first movement of "Summer"), and "the drunkards have fallen asleep" (in the second movement of "Autumn").
The Four Seasons are, therefore, tone poems. Together they are an enduring example of program music. It is often referenced in popular culture.