Various Artists - The Four Seasons (DG 2003) 4 CDs

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Various Artists - The Four Seasons (DG 2003) 4 CDs

The Four Seasons - A Musical Calendar of Favorite Classics
APE 1411 kbps | 44100 HZ Stereo | 1.28 GB | Classical, Symphony, Orchestra

The Four Seasons - A Musical Calendar of Favorite Classics (DG 2003) 4 CDs

It's a bit depressing how many new releases from the "major" classical labels these days consist of recycled old recordings, but give Deutsche Grammophon credit for the thinking that obviously went into this four-CD box entitled The Four Seasons: A Musical Calendar of Favourite Classics. In a way, this is yet another milking of the perennially salable Vivaldi Four Seasons; each of the four discs (Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter) opens with a complete performance of its respective concerto from that set, in the Gil Shaham recording with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. But then they continue with seasonal pieces drawn from all over the historical spectrum. There's another complete set of four seasons: Astor Piazzolla's Cuatro estaciones porteƱas, with which the Vivaldi concertos have been combined before. Beyond that is an enjoyable grab bag of old favorites (Waldteufel's Les patineurs for winter and selections from Mendelssohn's music for A Midsummer Night's Dream, for example) along with music one might not have thought of (Leroy Anderson's The First Day of Spring). The result is a fun package at a budget price ($30.98 list) that should be thoroughly enjoyed by the crossover audience it's aimed at, but that also has something to offer even hardcore enthusiasts who already own every minute of this music. How have the musical semiotics of the seasons remained consistent across styles, and how have they been forced to change? (What do you do when that favorite sixth scale degree that says "spring" now also says "folk"?) These discs offer a chance to ruminate on questions like those, even as they provide seasonally appropriate music for any party or gathering. The elegant but nontechnical notes by Raymond Tuttle invite everyone in.

James Manheim, All Music Guide

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