October 2008

Nameless Vivaldi

October 17, 2008 17:44

Today I was in the car on my way back from a lesson with Mrs. Vamos, asleep, and a crazy col legno revived me from my dreams.

I was intrigued by it, and I turned up the volume a bit. As I listened to the second and third movements of what I finally recognized as 'Winter' from the Four Seasons, I heard more and more things that I didn't recognize. In the opening melody, this nameless violinist played not the written rhythm, but a more improvised, jazzy rhythm which gave the opening a nice spin.

By the time the violinist played the last notes, I was on the edge of my seat. Who was this violinist? I admired whoever it was for being able to do something like this to such a popular work of which people have one way they think it should go stuck in their head.

It turned out that the violinist was none other than period-instrument pioneer Fabio Biondi, leading his Baroque band Europa Galante.

The strange thing is that I had heard his Vivaldi before, and had not liked it very much. Was this a different recording? Or had I not given it a chance?

All I know is that I'm going to buy this recording as soon as I can get my hands on it.

Fabio Biondi, above

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