Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons
Vivaldi’s beloved 1725 masterwork has proved irresistible to extremely broad audiences—the seasonally themed movements are among the most ubiquitous repertoire in classical music. Using the work as inspirational source material, British composer Max Richter offers a brilliant, haunting reconstruction of the concerti. Richter’s Seasons unfold with eerie, fragmented ambience—adding twittering violins to suggest birdsong in the opening “Spring,” ethereal string harmonics to the mournful second movement, and understated electronic textures throughout. Richter's spacious, dreamlike minimalism bears enough glimpses of Vivaldi to demonstrate a great intimacy with the original score, but his surprising modernization—propelled at times with driving baselines and insistent rhythmic repetitions—has a crisply inventive spirit that seems wholly new. Violinist Daniel Hope offers an exquisite reading of the piece, executing the shimmering solo with lyrical beauty.