Help needed tracking down a Vivaldi recording (4 Seasons)

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schmoppa
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Help needed tracking down a Vivaldi recording (4 Seasons)

Post by schmoppa » Thu Aug 18, 2005 9:43 pm

A long, long time ago I heard a very unique sounding recording of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons on the radio.

At the time, I did not think to call the radio station to ask to check out their playlist. I did at a much later date (months and months later) and no one could help me.

Now I am asking you please to help me figure out what the recording was.

Since it has been years, my memory of what I heard has faded a bit. I have to say I heard it before mid 2000, and likely before 1999 or 1998, but I can't be sure.

What was so unique about this recording was the style (and possibly instrumentation) in which it was performed. Instead of sounding like string quartet or chamber orchestra, it sounded like an impromptu gathering of gypsies playing on what I thought sounded like "rustic" stringed instruments (whatever that means). This is not to say that officially it would be classified as played in the "gypsy" style, but it hopefully gives you an approximation of the impression I had when listening to it.

I don't know whether the album was exclusively the Four Seasons, or if the artists performed other works in a similar style, or even if they performed the entire Four Seasons in that album. All I know is I heard part of one or two of the movements on the radio.

I know, this is the classic needle in the haystack scenario, as there must be hundreds of recordings of the Four Seasons (if not more!)... but even if you don't know specifically what this album might be, how would you go about finding out what it might be?

Thanks!

Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Thu Aug 18, 2005 9:47 pm

Of hand I don't know the recording but welcome aboard. We have an eclectic crew here, some with extensive professional knowledge of music. Hope you post often.
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schmoppa
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Post by schmoppa » Thu Aug 18, 2005 9:50 pm

Ralph wrote:Of hand I don't know the recording but welcome aboard. We have an eclectic crew here, some with extensive professional knowledge of music. Hope you post often.
thank you! and I just moved to Brooklyn.

(waves from across the river)

Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Thu Aug 18, 2005 9:56 pm

schmoppa wrote:
Ralph wrote:Of hand I don't know the recording but welcome aboard. We have an eclectic crew here, some with extensive professional knowledge of music. Hope you post often.
thank you! and I just moved to Brooklyn.

(waves from across the river)
*****

Well you better discover BARGEMUSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

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Corlyss_D
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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Aug 18, 2005 10:09 pm

schmoppa wrote:thank you! and I just moved to Brooklyn.

(waves from across the river)
Hey, Schmoppa. Lucky you! You get to hear those marvelous accents, tho' I'm told they don't exist any more.

I'm sure among the lot here we'll have someone who not only knows what you are talking about but has the exact record number and a source.
Corlyss
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schmoppa
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Post by schmoppa » Thu Aug 18, 2005 10:13 pm

Ralph wrote:
schmoppa wrote:
Ralph wrote:Of hand I don't know the recording but welcome aboard. We have an eclectic crew here, some with extensive professional knowledge of music. Hope you post often.
thank you! and I just moved to Brooklyn.

(waves from across the river)
*****

Well you better discover BARGEMUSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Consider it discovered! looks like a great opportunity to hear some good music, and apparently a good variety, too.

Up for tomorrow: Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and Piazzolla (tango music, I assume) and, heh heh, Piazzolla's Four Seasons!

schmoppa
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Post by schmoppa » Thu Aug 18, 2005 10:14 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
schmoppa wrote:thank you! and I just moved to Brooklyn.

(waves from across the river)
Hey, Schmoppa. Lucky you! You get to hear those marvelous accents, tho' I'm told they don't exist any more.

I'm sure among the lot here we'll have someone who not only knows what you are talking about but has the exact record number and a source.
Definitely a lot of accents I'm not used to, coming from Colorado. But aside from steep prices and difficult parking, it's been great.

Thanks for the friendly welcome!

aurora
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Post by aurora » Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:14 am

The time-frame doesn't quite fit, but 'rustic' & 'gypsy' are definitely terms that would be used to descibe Il Giardino Armonico's recording, released in 2001.

ps- welcome to the board from a born & bred Brooklyner

schmoppa
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Post by schmoppa » Fri Aug 19, 2005 8:21 am

aurora wrote:The time-frame doesn't quite fit, but 'rustic' & 'gypsy' are definitely terms that would be used to descibe Il Giardino Armonico's recording, released in 2001.

ps- welcome to the board from a born & bred Brooklyner
Thank you for the link. I did listen to a few of the sample tracks, and what I heard was much more straight forward rendition than what I remember hearing on the radio...

premont
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Re: Help needed tracking down a Vivaldi recording (4 Seasons

Post by premont » Fri Aug 19, 2005 9:37 am

schmoppa wrote:A long, long time ago I heard a very unique sounding recording of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons on the radio.

What was so unique about this recording was the style (and possibly instrumentation) in which it was performed. Instead of sounding like string quartet or chamber orchestra, it sounded like an impromptu gathering of gypsies playing on what I thought sounded like "rustic" stringed instruments (whatever that means). part of one or two of the movements on the radio.
I haven´t heard that lot of Four seasons, but it should be possible to limit the field of possibilities a bit.
Was the instrumentarium used just violinsoloist, strings and continuo as prescribed, or was the piece arranged partly for other instruments?
If played by stringed instruments as prescribed, was it a period ensemble or was modern instruments used?
If you can´t answer, I think it is impossible to find the recording, if it was a recording at all.

Gurn Blanston
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Post by Gurn Blanston » Fri Aug 19, 2005 9:47 am

You might give a listen to Red Priest, it is a unique take on the Seasons, and might well fit your memory. It uses a recorder in the solisti spot instead of a fiddle. It's on Dorian, bet there is a clip on Amazon, although haven't checked. :)
Regards,
Gurn

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Corlyss_D
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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:37 am

schmoppa wrote:Definitely a lot of accents I'm not used to
I was referring to Brooklynese, specifically, which I hear has been overwhelmed by the plethora of immigrant accents.
coming from Colorado.
Whoa! Now that's what I call culture shock!!!! How's come you left the west for the best?
But aside from steep prices and difficult parking, it's been great.
I think we'd all be there if it werent for those little details. There's an aura about the place - BTW plan to make a trip out to Ft. Tryon Park (upper west stide of Manhattan) in late Oct or early Nov when the days are warm and nights are cool and the leaves have turned, to take a look at the park, the palisades, and The Cloisters, the Met's medieval collection. They offer concerts out there several times a year by flagship groups specializing in Early Music. I adore the place and would live there if I could and if I didn't have to put up with the steep prices and difficult parking.

On the Vivaldi, it could be a cross-over album by Brooks and Dunn or Toby Keith. The 4 Seasons has been done to death by everybody and his dog and his dog's dog when there's a version by a koto ensemble, guitar groups like the Romeros, and competing nonsense by Harnoncourt in his "Wise Ass" phase that made the Concentus Musikus Wien sound like the town band Mozart parodied in his Musical Joke. It could be aaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnyyyyyyyything. Good luck. If you find it you must return and report here.
Corlyss
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Harold Tucker
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Post by Harold Tucker » Sat Aug 20, 2005 4:28 am

The description makes me think that it was a koto ensemble recording .Are these things still around?

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Aug 20, 2005 11:15 am

Harold Tucker wrote:The description makes me think that it was a koto ensemble recording .Are these things still around?
From the Japan Times Sept. 15, 2002:

HOGAKU TODAY

Pro Music Nipponia gives new life to contemporary hogaku

By CHRISTOPHER Y. BLASDEL

For the past 40 years, Pro Musica Nipponia has taken an active role in the contemporary hogaku music scene by commissioning and performing new works for traditional instruments. The highly professional and talented ensemble has premiered dozens of works by both Japanese and foreign composers and has built up an impressive repertoire of new pieces. This fall, they will present two concerts that will resurrect some of this previously performed repertory.

I say resurrect because most newly commissioned works are usually performed only once, then shelved and forgotten. Even if a piece manages to have a repeat performance, it is hardly ever published or made available on a commercial basis. This is unfortunate because new compositions, like wine, can improve with age: Repeat performances enable the musicians to better internalize them and perform them more naturally.

The first of the "repeat" concerts in the ensemble's fall series will feature early works by Katsutoshi Nagasawa ("Shamisen Concerto," 1967), Pehr Henrik Nordgren ("Seita," 1978, for shakuhachi and three koto) and Etsuo Kawasaki ("Double Concerto for two Biwa," 1991). The second will feature an compositions by Minoru Miki ("Paraphrase for Ancient Japanese Instruments," 1966), Ryohei Hirose ("Homage to Sesshu," 1998) and Sesshu Kai ("Music for Ten Players," 1974).

The earlier concert will also revive the popular koto ensemble version (premiered in 1975) of "Spring and Winter" from Vivaldi's "Four Seasons." Playing Vivaldi on the koto is pure kitsch, but if you've ever wondered how fast koto players can move their hands, this is the piece to see.

"Critics Project Series, No. 1: Relation of the Individual to the Mass": Sept. 20, 7 p.m., at Tsuda Hall (in front of Sendagaya Station). "Critics Project Series, No. 2: Territory of Contemporary Music for Japanese Traditional Instruments": Nov. 2, 2 p.m., at Dai Ichi Seimei Hall (an eight-minute walk from Katsudokibashi Station on the Toei Oedo subway line).


From a guitarist's program notes for a performance:

Vivaldi's masterpiece has received so many performances and recordings that it has also inspired an impressive number of creative arrangements for everything from synthesizer to accordion quartet to solo recorder to koto ensemble. Many are impressive, amusing, some almost blasphemous to musicians.

From a stuffy purist EM standpoint, we are talking major prostitution with this wonderful piece, so ferretting out one recording on the basis of a verbal description of the remembered instrumental ensemble will be a very challenging task.
Corlyss
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schmoppa
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Re: Help needed tracking down a Vivaldi recording (4 Seasons

Post by schmoppa » Sun Aug 21, 2005 9:05 am

premont wrote: I haven´t heard that lot of Four seasons, but it should be possible to limit the field of possibilities a bit.
Was the instrumentarium used just violinsoloist, strings and continuo as prescribed, or was the piece arranged partly for other instruments?
If played by stringed instruments as prescribed, was it a period ensemble or was modern instruments used?
If you can´t answer, I think it is impossible to find the recording, if it was a recording at all.
My memory of the details has faded, but I remember there being strings predominately, if not completely. They still had this "rustic" sound, but that could have been the style of play, not necessarily a different type of violin/cello/whatever.
Last edited by schmoppa on Sun Aug 21, 2005 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

schmoppa
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Post by schmoppa » Sun Aug 21, 2005 9:18 am

Gurn Blanston wrote:You might give a listen to Red Priest, it is a unique take on the Seasons, and might well fit your memory. It uses a recorder in the solisti spot instead of a fiddle. It's on Dorian, bet there is a clip on Amazon, although haven't checked. :)
Thank you for this lead. This recording is indeed more along the lines of what I heard. I think that based on the recording date of this album, it cannot be the one I heard, but there are a couple of tracks on the Red Priest album that sound roughly like what I remember hearing ("gypsy-camp style", whatever that means).

CharmNewton
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Post by CharmNewton » Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:05 am

You mjght have a listen to the recording by Nils Sparf on the BIS label (CD-275). I'm only going from memory, but the critical commentary was that it was a highly unusual performance at a time the Seasons were glutting the market. I even remember (somewhat foggily) reading he was a "country" fiddler, I suppose meaning he was not classically trained. I say this as I still recall being surprised by a CD of him recording the Brahms Violin Sonatas, but I guess the classically untrained can play those too. :)

John

schmoppa
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Post by schmoppa » Sun Aug 21, 2005 3:20 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
schmoppa wrote:
coming from Colorado.
Whoa! Now that's what I call culture shock!!!! How's come you left the west for the best?
the wife is going to art school starting this fall!

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