A song cycle about the seasons is nothing new, of course. Antonio Vivaldi’s (1678 – 1741) Four Seasons is likely the most well known of the genre. Certainly, the beloved violin concerto is the most famous work from the Italian.
The totality of yesterday’s CD and today’s (the complete Four Seasons from Haydn) is two hours and twenty minutes of music. Frankly, that’s beyond big. That’s massive.
If Haydn had done nothing else in his long, illustrious career, The Four Seasons, alone, would have been worthy of high praise. It really is a fine, fine oratorio, with terrific performances all around especially from soprano Helen Donath and tenor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adalbert_Kraus.
But the instrumentation is superb as well.
And that’s why this works so well for me. If it had Continue reading