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A beautiful canvas

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
By Itzhak Perlman with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

EMI Records: 1985

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This review first appeared in the Dec. 4, 1985 issue of The Daily Aztec.

During the early 18th century, Antonio Vivaldi emerged as a composer of music both gorgeously melodic and structurally adventuresome. He was also one of the first to use the violin as a featured solo instrument, and his compositional favoritism eventually led to the violin being the star of the orchestra.

Itzhak Perlman is one of the best violinists playing today, and he thrives on Vivaldi's best-known work, "The Four Seasons." A master of the violin, Perlman seems to relish the most difficult passages the most.

The first of the seasons, spring, (formally titled "Concerto in E"), contains one of the world's best-known melodies. But mutilated by thousands of wine commercials the song suffers from severe over-exposure. But Perlman pulls off the difficult feat of making the song fresh again.

The other three pieces are not as well-known, but are still showcases of Vivaldi's abilities as a composer, and provide a fine canvas for Perlman's virtuosity.