Title - Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
Artist - Apollo’s Fire w/ Francisco Fullana
For those unaware, Grammy Award-winning baroque orchestra Apollo’s Fire and its founder-director Jeannette Sorrell have blazed trails in the world of historically informed performance with pioneering programming, presentational flair and an entrepreneurial spirit, qualities that have earned them eight Billboard chart-topping albums and more than 7 million views on YouTube.
Their latest release, which launches the ensemble’s 30th anniversary season, is destined to soar to similar heights: the ensemble’s first recording of the perennial audience favorite, Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, featuring the phenomenal Spanish-born fiddler Francisco Fullana.
ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741)
The Four Seasons (Le Quattro Stagioni)
Soloist: Francisco Fullana, violin
La Primavera (Spring), Op. 8 No. 1
1. i. Allegro (3:37)
2. ii. Largo (2:45)
3. iii. Allegro (4:29)
L’estate (Summer), Op. 8 No. 2
4. i. Allegro non molto – Allegro (5:02)
5. ii. Adagio e piano (2:21)
6. iii. Presto: Tempo impetuoso d’estate (2:52)
L’autunno (Autumn), Op. 8 No. 3
7. i. Allegro (5:11)
8. ii. Adagio molto (2:45)
9. iii. Allegro (3:20)
L’inverno (Winter), Op. 8 No. 4
10. i. Allegro non molto (3:34)
11. ii. Largo (2:15)
12. iii. Allegro (3:20)
Antonio Vivaldi/arr. Jeanette Sorrell: “La Folia” (Madness)
Soloists: Francisco Fullana and Alan Choo, violin
13. Concerto Grosso (10:45)
Francisco Fullana, Alan Choo, violins
Apollo’s Fire, The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra
Jeannette Sorrell, director
Recorded on April 15th-17th, 2021 at Avon Lake United Church of Christ this delightfully ambient new recording opens on the first of the Spring trio, the sprightly Allegro and then continues with the more dulcet Largo, culminating on the cultured Allegro, before moving seamlessly onto the Summer trilogy of the ornate Allegro non molto – Allegro, the cultured Adagio e piano, ending with the vivaciously flamboyant Presto.
Next up is the Autumnal trio, beginning with the sprightly Allegro, then moving onto the cagey Adagio molto, before closing on the buoyant confidence of Allegro, and that is followed neatly, of course, buy the Winter trilogy, which opens on the stern Allegro non molto, before moving into the softly driven Largo, rounding out on the gently euphoric Allegro, with the added pleasure here of a near-11 minute 12 Trio Sonatas, Op. 1: XII. Trio Sonata in D Minor, RV 63 “La Folia” (arr. Sorrell) closing the new recording in some style.
Frequently performed at Apollo’s Fire home base in Cleveland, Ohio and on their international tours, “Sorrell’s vivid approach to the pictorial elements make these familiar works seem freshly minted, full of astonishing incident”, according to Seen & Heard International.
Fullana, winner of the 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant, has been dubbed a “rising star” by BBC Music Magazine, and an “amazing talent” by conductor Gustavo Dudamel.
The Four Seasons is the first of four releases spread throughout the season celebrating Apollo’s Fire’s milestone 30th anniversary.
Official Purchase Link