If anyone has earned the right to mess around with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons it is Nigel Kennedy, the violin world’s Marmite violinist. Remember how fresh he made this music sound on his recording of a quarter-century ago? This latest version offers a ferment of all he’s played since – concertos, jazz, Jimi Hendrix. It’s affectionate and irreverent in equal measure, and Kennedy and his Orchestra of Life never sound less than riveting. Pretty much all Vivaldi’s notes are there; around, above and in between them come interjections, overlays and linking passages involving guest musicians from jazz and rock: Orphy Robinson, Damon Reece, Z-Star and others. Spring is welcomed in by a distant-sounding intro on an electric-guitar. Summer’s storms bring forth bursts of crazily sampled static. Autumn tears off at a cracking pace, but with a jazz trumpet sauntering lazily over the top. It all sounds like a colossal jam session from the inside of a Botticelli painting.
This EMI release of The Four Seasons gives violinist Sarah Chang top billing (as would be expected) and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra a smaller, less significant listing. As far as the quality of performance goes, however, Orpheus should absolutely be considered the star of this recording with Chang getting the footnote instead. This is simply not the case; from the ridiculously posed glamour photos filling the liner notes to the balance of the performance itself, this album is all about Chang. The most fulfilling aspects are the orchestral tuttis. Orpheus is truly at its best here, playing with as much energy and passion as the much ballyhooed recording with the Venice Baroque Orchestra.
Antonio Vivaldi’s the Four Seasons is the most popular piece of classical music of all time. There have been over 1000 different recordings , selling tens of millions of copies. It’s become so ubiquitous – in lifts, as phone ring tones or on call-centre answering machines – that it has been denounced as Muzak for the middle classes.
Hans is a street fruit peddler and born-loser. His choice of career upsets his bourgeois family, causing him to turn to drinking and violence. After recovering from a debilitating heart attack, his business finally begins to take off. However the more he becomes a credit to his family, the more depressed he becomes. One sociable day, while toasting his friends and family, he decides to drink himself to death.
In Understanding Qigong DVD 4, renowned Qigong expert and author Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming discusses the theory of Four Seasons Qigong (Si Ji Gong). Four Seasons Qigong is a well-known traditional medical Qigong practice in which one learns how to regulate the body from one season to the next to avoid common illnesses. This Qigong specializes in training the five internal Yin organs; heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and spleen, which correspond to the four seasons the year. It is believed that when we get sick it is often due to the body s difficulty in adapting to the changes from one season to another.