Your favorite recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons

I own one copy and have checked out a few from the library, but each one has been somewhat dull and lacked the power and intensity I love in Vivaldi’s Summer.

Do any of you have a suggestion for a version I could look for? ex. CD name, orchestra etc.

The CD I have here a home is: Point Classics Vivaldi the Four Seasons on CD. Salzburguer Kammerorchester - Dir. Alexander Von Pitamic C1994


There’s the classic 1969 Decca recording by Neville Marriner with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields. You should definitely try this one. Make sure you get the remastered CD transfer made in 2000 (“96 kHz 24-bit Super Digital Transfer”).

I also have a 1997 chamber orchester recording by Gottfried von der Goltz with the Freiburger Barockorchester, on DHM (deutsche harmonia mundi). They are using historical instruments and have the typical “thinner” and somewhat squeaky sound of such ensembles. Interesting but probably not what you’re expecting.

Both of those recordings are really cool. I love the period instruments myself, but yes, they can be a bit jarring if you’ve never heard them before.

A nice newer recording is the one with Anne Sophie Mutter as soloist and conductor, which I believe is the way Vivaldi often performed it. Anyway, she rips it up and the ensemble sounds great.

I’ve got a good one on Philips Digital Classics, maestro is Salvatore Accardo and it’s performed on Strad. instruments. It was recorded at the Cremona festival. Recorded in 1987, so I suspect that there’s a remaster around somewhere.

The 96kHz 24-bit isn’t actually produced that way, is it? I mean, CDs can’t do that sample rate, can they?

No, I think those numbers refer to the technology used for A/D conversion. You see that quite frequently on CDs that were remastered from the original analogue tapes.

No idea if remastering with 96 kHz and 24 bit actually sounds better than 64 kHz and 16 bit or whatever… I just gave the numbers as a simple way to identify that particular recording because it does sound pretty good!

It just means that the transfer from analog tape was done at super high resolution to maintain as much detail and dynamic range as possible. Of course they dither it down to 16 bit/44.1 kHz for the CD release, but some people believe that the high resolution transfer makes a difference in preserving all the nuance of the source recording.