Amandine Beyer & Gli Incogniti – Vivaldi: The Four Seasons (2008) 
FLAC tracks 24bit/96kHz | 01:12:00 |  1.4GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet  | Linn Records

Director and violinist Amandine Beyer acknowledges in her booklet notes for this disc that the world may not seem to need another recording of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, but then she tops the bar she has set up by delivering an entirely distinctive reading of the work. Her version, with the Italian historical-instrument group Gli Incogniti (who are not quite as unknown as all that), is as strikingly revisionist as the various turbo-powered, operatic Vivaldi recordings that began coming out of Italy in the 1990s, but it is different in flavor. In her own words, Beyer seeks “lightweight forces and freedom of phrasing.” The group is small, with microphones put down right in the middle, and you hear lots of internal lines and interplay rather than contrast between orchestra and soloist. The overall feel is light and agile; Beyer doesn’t so much push the tempo (although there’s a little of that) as imbue the solo lines with maximum variety, creating a fantasy-like feel. That works quite well with the Four Seasons concertos, which are rendered in a colorful enough way that they evoke many of the images in Vivaldi’s accompanying printed sonnets (which would have been a profitable inclusion in the booklet).

Concerto pour 2 violons et violoncelle RV 578a en sol mineur
1. Allegro e spiccato
2. Allegro
3. Largo e spiccato
4. Allegro
Concerto pour violon RV 372 ‘Per Signora Chiara’ en si b majeur
5. Allegro molto e spiritoso
6. Largo ma non tanto
7. Allegro
(La primavera). Concerto pour violon RV 269 en Mi Majeur
8. Allegro
9. Largo
10. Allegro
(L’estate). Concerto pour violon RV 315 en sol mieur
11. Allegro non molto
12. Adagio
13. Presto
(L’autunno). Concerto pour violon RV 293 en Fa Majeur
14. Allegro
15. Adagio molto
16. Allegro
(L’inverno). Concerto pour violon RV 297 en fa mineur
17. Allegro molto
18. Largo
19. Allegro
Concerto pour violon RV 390 en si mineur
20. Andante molto
21. Allegro non molto
22. Larghetto
23. Allegro