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Vivaldi: Le Quattro Stagioni; Violin Concertos ()

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Dutch label Brilliant tends to issue giant budget box sets, with mixed results. This one, collecting a group of 1990s recordings originally appearing on the small Divox label from Switzerland, has some of the characteristic flaws (like random booklet notes that don't match up with the music involved), but it actually assembles three discs' worth of music that belongs together in a single program. What you get here is an unusually broad range of insight into Vivaldi as a programmatic or representational composer. The program begins with the most famous Vivaldi work of all, programmatic or not, the four violin concertos known as Le Quattro Stagioni or the Four Seasons. The rest of the music is much rarer. The second disc presents a set of five concertos grouped under the title "Le Humane Passioni" -- the Human Passions. They are comparable to Couperin's subtle personifications of emotion, but they are not written in a French style. Instead, they are just as imaginative as the Four Seasons within the... Hide synopsis

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