My first musical thrill of the New Year in 2020 was to listen to Max Richter’s re-imagining of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”, a Christmas gift from my son, Julien. Richter refers to his work as a re-composition and in many ways it is. Although one recognises the more familiar melodies of Vivaldi, it is no mere re-arrangement.
For me, he navigates a difficult pathway between the splendour of the past and the beauty of the modern, in a piece dripping with exhilarating musicality. Right from the beginning, one is flying with the birds in the sky and soaring over an ever-changing landscape of musical images and sounds. Whatever your musical tastes, you will most probably find this a thrilling and fulfilling experience. Richter really does tick all the boxes. Although written some time ago, it is fresh and new and has amazing sound quality.
I highly recommend this Deutsche Grammophon recording (2012) which features Daniel Hope on violin, Raphael Alpermann on harpsichord and the Konserthaus Kammerorchester Berlin, conductor Andre de Ridder. The composer himself is on moog synthesiser.
So why not sit back in a comfortable chair with your favourite drink and be transported, in your imagination, to a world beyond your dreams. Enjoy!