Gratifying rework of Vivaldi, however to what finish?

Helena Popovic, violin solo. Photograph: Peter Hislop.

Music / At Wesley Church, Forrest, September 24. Reviewed by ROB KENNEDY.

BRITISH composer Max Richter’s music has the world divided. Some love and a few hate what he does with music. In his recomposed model of Vivaldi’s “4 Seasons”, Richter presents this music in a stimulating style, however what’s the purpose of it?

Launched in 2012, Richter’s recomposed model of Vivaldi’s “4 Seasons”, which was written about 1725, is an fascinating association. The conductor Leonard Weiss, who helped put this efficiency collectively, says: “It has one thing new to supply, but in addition one thing acquainted, which makes it a fantastic live performance selection for at this time”.

The co-founder of the Canberra Sinfonia, violinist Helena Popovic, who can be a graduate of the ANU College of Music and a member of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, led the Canberra Sinfonia. They consisted of 15 string gamers, a harpist and a harpsichordist.

There are numerous reworkings of Vivaldi’s “4 Seasons”. My favorite is by the German composer Thomas Wilbrandt and his 1984 double album titled, “The Electrical V”. Together with electronics and his compositions, this rephrasing introduced one thing new to Vivaldi’s music.

Canberra Sinfonia. Photograph: Peter Hislop.

“Recomposed”, by Richter, which is in 4 actions, every comprising a fast-slow-fast part, is a pleasant work in some ways. It’s arduous to go incorrect with an association when the bottom materials is so good. Richter’s model of “Spring”, is elegant. It floats and drifts and tugs on the heartstrings. The primary theme builds and builds, but it was overly candy and overly repetitive. The Sinfonia produced a splendidly clear, robust and collectively sound.

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“Spring II”, started fairly tentatively for some within the group, however when Popovic got here in, that introduced their sound collectively and all performed passionately. This part held higher depth and complexity. The ultimate a part of “Spring” was once more overly repetitive. The music ends by folding in on itself because it constructed a wall of sound.

“Summer season”, with its shimmering musical imagery held near the unique. Popovic confirmed off her appreciable abilities as a violinist within the following instrumental function. This grew by means of an virtually mechanical phrase that persistently repeated. And like virtually each part, it ended with out a coda, however with an abrupt up observe.

The final part of “Summer season” ends in a heavy rhythmic frenzy, which was carried out powerfully, with nice dynamics and electrifying tempo.

Richter’s “Autumn” gave the impression of Vivaldi’s “Autumn”. It moved to an intentional offset rhythmic sample that jarred just a little, however it was efficient at producing a tonal distinction. The remaining sections had been a bit underwhelming.

“Winter”, has Vivaldi’s chilling opening. Nobody may take that away. However the tempo elevated a lot it felt disjointed from the opening part; a Richter inclusion. That mentioned, the taking part in uniformed and ferocious.

The song-like tune that maybe greatest represents “The 4 Seasons”, remained the identical within the center part of “Winter”. Though beneath, the quietest harmonics, simply holding all of it collectively created a serene impact. Lastly, on the finish of “Winter”, the dense writing appeared to deliver a little bit of every part that got here earlier than collectively. The subtlety, the fireplace, and the complexity wound down, leaving a tranquil and reflective place. The viewers beloved it.

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Whereas this recomposed model is, on this reviewer’s opinion, not an enchancment on the unique, it helps to light up how music might be tailored. Richter has carried out a superb job in his association. However did we’d like it?

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Ian Meikle, editor