Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
The combination of Nigel Kennedy’s incredible technique, white-hot creativity, and “bad-boy” image convinced EMI, in 1989, to promote his new recording of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons as they would a pop album. It was a stroke of genius, catapulting Kennedy to the dizzying heights of fame and breathing new life into Vivaldi’s well-worn concertos. Kennedy’s genius was to push the envelope far enough for the classical music industry to take notice, but not too far as to alienate a new generation of listeners. The English Chamber Orchestra is in top form and rivals Kennedy for energy and daring—and it’s a recording that still influences musicians today.