The Strad's experts evaluate the latest string recordings
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, Concerto in F major for three violins RV551. Pärt: Passacaglia
A no-nonsense account of Vivaldi’s famous foursome
Tuesday, 01 July 2014
Anne Akiko Meyers (violin) English Chamber Orchestra/David Lockington
ENTERTAINMENT ONE ECM CD 7790
Anne Akiko Meyers’s ample vibrato fashions a warm and elegant tone that is the antithesis of those violinists who purport to be recreating an authentic Baroque style. Yet, with tempos and dynamics taken to the limits of good taste, she vividly portrays the varying moods in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with playing that is quite remarkable in its dexterity and technical brilliance. Just as the seasons come and go, so fashions in performance change and with the provocative Nigel Kennedy (EMI) and the period-conscious Enrico Onofri (Teldec) behind us, now might well be the time for Meyers’s exciting but uncomplicated approach to capture the market. It’s certainly easy to admire the skill and agility of the English Chamber Orchestra and its lucidly clear playing when faced with hair-raisingly fast tempos, and the musicians provide a charmingly lightweight accompaniment to the triple violin concerto. All three parts are played by Meyers and over-dubbed. As an encore we have Arvo Pärt’s charming Baroque pastiche Passacaglia. Meyers here, and throughout the disc, is placed well to the fore in very punchy sound.
From the July 2014 issue. Subscribe to The Strad or download our digital edition as part of a 30-day free trial.