Pleasant rework of Vivaldi, however to what finish?

Helena Popovic, violin solo. Picture: 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 attention-grabbing 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 an incredible live performance alternative for at present”.

The co-founder of the Canberra Sinfonia, violinist Helena Popovic, who can also be a graduate of the ANU Faculty 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. Picture: 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 onerous to go fallacious 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 better 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 time”, 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 via an virtually mechanical phrase that persistently repeated. And like virtually each part, it ended and not using a coda, however with an abrupt up notice.

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

Richter’s “Autumn” appeared like Vivaldi’s “Autumn”. It moved to an intentional offset rhythmic sample that jarred a bit of, however it was efficient at producing a tonal distinction. The remaining sections have been a bit underwhelming.

“Winter”, has Vivaldi’s chilling opening. Nobody might 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 convey a little bit of the whole lot that got here earlier than collectively. The subtlety, the hearth, and the complexity wound down, leaving a tranquil and reflective place. The viewers liked 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 accomplished a superb job in his association. However did we want it?

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Ian Meikle, editor