Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” with the Berliner Barock Solisten
12 Dec 2013
Berlin Baroque Soloists
Bernhard Forck, Daishin Kashimoto
Santa Beatrice d’Este: Sinfonia in D minor (8 min.)
Sonata a quattro for strings and continuo in G minor (6 min.)
Sonata a quattro for trumpet, two violins and continuo in D major (version for recorder, two violins and continuo) (7 min.)
Saskia Fikentscher Recorder
Sonata da camera a tre for two violins and continuo in G major, op. 2 no. 12 Ciacona (4 min.)
Concerto grosso in G minor, op. 6 no. 8 “Christmas Concerto” (1725 version for strings, two recorders and continuo) (15 min.)
Saskia Fikentscher Recorder, Susann Seegers Recorder
Le quattro stagioni (The Four Seasons), concertos for violin, strings and basso continuo, op. 8 (50 min.)
Daishin Kashimoto Violin
They always inspire their audiences with the “brilliance, cohesion and sensitivity of their interpretations” (Der Tagesspiegel) – and the ensemble’s uniquely pithy phrasing and articulation have made it a benchmark for lucid and uncommonly supple music making. Joined by recorder players Saskia Fikentscher and Susann Seegers, the Berlin Baroque Soloists bring their artistry to works including Arcangelo Corelli’s famous “Christmas Concerto” – the Concerto Grosso in G minor, op. 6 No. 8 – in the 1725 version for strings, two recorders and continuo.
Then Berliner Philharmoniker 1st concertmaster Daishin Kashimoto presents the even more famous Four Seasons (Le quattro stagioni), supreme examples of musical illustration and characterisation to which Antonio Vivaldi attached programmatic interpretations in sonnet form, elucidating the extra-musical references down to the tiniest detail.
The first concerto, La primavera (“Spring”), begins in festive mood, with motivic repetitions and echo effects, and then the singing of the birds is imitated with trills, repeated notes and other embellishments: “Joyful Spring has arrived, and the birds welcome it with their happy songs.” The last piece – L’inverno (“Winter”) – on the other hand, conveys the impression of nature frozen in winter with throbbing quavers (eighth notes), a series of mordents and chains of dissonances: “Shivering in the icy snow and in the terrible wind, we stamp our feet while our teeth are chattering.”