Vivaldi / The Four Seasons – A Sonic Arts Direct to Disc Recording Reviewed in 2009

A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

This is a SUPERB sounding Sonic Arts Direct-to-Disc LP with Super Hot Stamper sound on both sides. I gave this one rave reviews twenty years ago (when we could still find them) and I’m happy to see that the sound has held up just fine in the intervening decades. Recorded in a dry acoustic, immediacy and clarity are the sonic strengths of this side one. This is one of the most natural Direct-Disc I’ve heard in a long time. One could easily use it as Demo Disc, depending on your taste and system.

There is wonderful chamber music throughout this LP. It comes as no surprise that it was nominated for two Grammys.

Side One

A++, with a very slight edge to the top of the strings being all that holds it back from a Triple Plus grade. The sound is accurate and real for the room that it was recorded in.

Side Two

A++, this side I liked a bit better, it’s a bit smoother and more relaxed; it sounds as though the mics are not quite as close to the performers on this side.

The playing is top notch on both sides.

Both sides are slightly noisy for an audiophile record, Mint Minus Minus and a bit better, but for us the surfaces were easy to ignore in light of the wonderful music.

Recorded in honor of the Tricentennial of Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741). Performed by the Cremona Chamber Ensemble and conducted by Heiichiro Ohyama. The performance includes “Spring Concerto” from The Four Seasons, “Sonata for Violin & Basso #2”, and “Concerto Grosso #11.”

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