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I Musici

The Four Seasons - Vivaldi & Verdi (CD)

I Musici, the ensemble who made the first stereo recording of one of classical music’s best-loved pieces, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

Le Quattro Stagioni (The Four Seasons) includes a new version of Vivaldi’s iconic work by the group who know it best, paired with a specially-commissioned arrangement of Verdi’s Four Seasons. The album marks the 70th anniversary of the group’s debut concert in Rome in 1952.

It is hard to believe today that a work like Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons was ever out of performance. Although gaining immense popularity in his lifetime, following his death in 1741, The Four Seasons along with most of Vivaldi’s music became unknown to performers and survived only in libraries.

Vivaldi’s music was still largely unknown in 1955 when I Musici entered the studio to make the first stereo recording of The Four Seasons. The conductor-less chamber orchestra was founded in 1951 and became world renowned for their interpretation of Italian baroque music. I Musici recordings were among the first to be released on compact disc and the group made the first ever purpose-made classical music video. On the album, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is paired with the world premiere recording of Verdi’s Four Seasons: an arrangement of the ballet music Verdi composed for his Les Vêpres Siciliennes (I vespri siciliani) in Paris in 1855, here scored for piano and strings. Marco Fiorini, the soloist featured on this new recording, is the son of one of the founding members of the group: violinist Monserrat Cervera.

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons (Le Quattro Stagioni, op 8 nos 1-4)
La primavera (Spring); Concertoin E major, RV269 (op 8 no 1)
i. Allegro
ii. Largo e pianissimo sempre
iii. Allegro (Danza pastorale)
L’estate (Summer); Concerto in G minor, RV315 Op 8 no 2
i. Allegro non molto
ii. Adagio-Presto
iii. Presto
L’autunno (Autumn); Concertoin F major, RV293 (op 8 no 3)
i. Allegro
ii. Adagio
iii. Allegro
L’inverno (Winter); Concertoin F minor, RV297 (op 8 no 4)
i. Allegro non molto
ii. Largo
iii. Allegro

Verdi: The Four Seasons (Le Quattro Stagioni) for strings with piano
i. L’Inverno (Winter)
ii. La Primavera (Spring)
iii. L’Estate (Summer)
iv. L’Autumno (Autumn)