VIVALDI The Four Seasons


Debuted at #2 on Billboard Classical Chart
Chosen as #3 in the “10 Best Classical Albums of 2021”
– The Times, London

Not your mother’s Four Seasons. GRAMMY®-winners Apollo’s Fire and Jeannette Sorrell team up with Spanish violin virtuoso Francisco Fullana and his 1735 Guarneri violin for this joyous romp through the baroque countryside. Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire are known for bringing Vivaldi’s masterpiece to life as the revolutionary acts of musical storytelling the composer intended. From a lonely shepherd-boy on a hillside to a delightfully drunken harvest party and a thrilling fox-hunt… the musician-storytellers revel in the joys and sorrows of a time when people lived very close to nature. The album comes to a red-hot finish with a new recording of Sorrell’s arrangement of Vivaldi’s La Folia (“Madness”).

A beautiful booklet and fascinating, in-depth liner notes by Sorrell make these CDs wonderful gifts.

View Album Booklet

SKU: AV2485 Category:

“Fullana and Sorrell’s brilliant baroque band from Cleveland reveals Vivaldi’s most popular work in spring-cleaned colours, like the restoration of an old master. The ‘barking dog’ of Spring, the cascading rain storm of Summer, the dancing harvest-home peasants of Autumn and the icy shivers of Winter have rarely been evoked as graphically and intelligently as here.”
– THE TIMES, London (“Best 10 Classical Albums of 2021”)

“Sorrell and her dazzling period band from Cleveland commit Vivaldi’s concertos to disc… and the musical results are revelatory. Sorrell’s booklet notes… are as fascinating as her soloist Fullana’s virtuosic playing, but it’s her orchestra’s incandescence — graphic in the “barking dog” movement of Spring, exhilarating in Summer’s cascading rainstorm — that makes this essential listening.”

“Francisco Fullana reveals its poetry with effortless refinement. What I enjoyed most of all in the affectionate and carefully thought out playing of soloist and ensemble is their relaxed phrasing and crisp articulation which generate unflagging interest. Terrific stuff!”

“An abundance of plucked playfulness from harpsichord, Baroque harp, theorbo and guitar. Resplendent… they lace an icy path [in Winter] with spectacular downwards glissandos. Sorrell’s excellent liner notes… [contain] evocative descriptions, spiced with lovely historical detail.”

“An outstanding rendition of Vivaldi’s evergreen concerti. Francisco Fullana plays with impeccable intonation and technical command, but also with a great deal of verve and imagination. Wonderful energy… an energy that revives the sense of discovery, joy, and drama that can be lost in more humdrum outings of these pieces. Surprisingly poignant… Jeannette Sorrell and her merry band provide a wild accompaniment to Fullana’s musings. Apollo’s Fire is a tight ensemble, and like Fullana, play with infectious enthusiasm. The audible use of baroque harp in some of the movements is inspired; the added glissandiin the final moments of Winter made the hair on my neck stand up. The group really lets their hair down in Sorrell’s arrangement of Vivaldi’s trio sonata “La Folia”… underlining the Spanish rhythms with zeal. A skilled and passionate band and outstanding soloist…”

“A sparkling performance… describing the joys and sorrows of a time when people lived closer to nature – all with the flamboyance of harpsichordist Jeannette Sorrell and the talented performance of soloist Francisco Fullana. Apollo’s Fire, one of the best baroque orchestras in the U.S., is internationally recognized for its creative and innovative programming as well as for its dynamic and invigorating approach to early music. Alan Choo, the ensemble’s concertmaster, joins Francisco Fullana, a virtuoso with a bright future, in ‘La Folia’ to close this album. The work ends this beautiful recording with a touch of madness that makes us smile with this joyful and frenzied interpretation. The booklet is wonderfully produced.”
– CRESCENDO Magazine (Belgium)

“A winner! What a sparkle and drive! And that ‘encore’ being an arrangement by Jeanette Sorrell – the driving force behind Apollo’s Fire – of the famous theme ‘La Folia’ is just as sublime. Delicious in these harsh times.”
– MUSIC EMOTION Magazine (Netherlands)

“The U.S.A.’s hottest baroque band.” –CLASSICAL MUSIC MAGAZINE (UK)

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