"With so many versions of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, and after listening them so many times, I asked myself if it's something I still don't know or heard. This version gave me the answer. Compared with this version, the others seem weak, superflous, ambiance music to entertain bored monarchs. With Karajan and Ann-Sophie Mutter, Vivaldi regains power, character and now is music to be listened with attention to all the interesting details that make this version the best one I ever heard. Listen (and see) the violas in Summer's 3rd, the powerful bass in Autum 3rd while Karajan, sitting by an extra cembalo, improvises some chords. A must-have for all music lovers."
Big boned Vivaldi!
richie-boy | 01/26/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is not a disc for lovers of "authentic" music! Karajan has assembled what seems like the entire string section of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for this lush romantic version of the Four Seasons. Soloist Anne-Sophie Mutter is in tune with HvK's approach,she is vital even a touch fierce in the more excitable passages but as ever her pure tone,brilliant technique and wilful temperament combine to ensure there is always something interesting occasionally something transcendent at the core of her interpretation. Now that scaled down authentic baroque has become the norm I find it a guilt-free pleasure to look back at this sort of "incorrect" performance and simply enjoy it as an example of fine music making. Picture quality is OK,sound comes in two flavours 2 channel stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1 - I found the 5.1 surround mix the most impressive in conjuring up a realistic concert acoustic.There are no extras to speak of just a written puff piece about Saint Herbert."
Rod Saunders | Tulsa, Ok | 02/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This performance was taped 17 years ago so the video quality isn't that sharp by today's standards, but the audio is excellent. The new building - The Chamber Music Auditorium of the Berlin Philharmonic - is beautiful and perfect for such a performance. Mutter's playing is up to her usual lofty standards, and of course maestro Herbert Von Karajan (he and Mutter are my reasons for granting the five stars) is larger than life, although he was obviously beginning to weaken at this point and sadly needed assistance in standing. (He passed less than two years after this taping.) Also provided on the DVD are backgrounds on Von Karajan and the new auditorium. Overall an excellent presentation of Vivaldi's masterpiece."
leelee | Chicago, IL | 10/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Four Seasons" is probably one of the most famous and widely played symphony in the world. This version is beautifully shot and the sound quality is superb. Mr. Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic are in excellent form. It's always a treat watching Mr. Karajan conduct and play the harpischord. Reminding us how great composers like Beethoven did both in their days. Anne-Sophie Mutter's playing is both heavenly and flawless...and I'm a cellist! This performance is like a wonderful bottle of Cabernet - very solid. Just perfect for a relaxing evening at home. It's great to have this version on dvd as testament to the growth and talent of Ms. Mutter. Mutter's 1999 collaboration of "The Four Seasons" with the Trondheim Soloists is more energetic & uptempo. Mutter plays with a little more abandon. Unfortunately, the 1999 rendition is cd only and not available on dvd yet."
Vivaldi and HvK- A beautiful friendship
R. E. Massad | Oklahoma | 02/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The 5.1 mix is very lush and smooth. If you enjoy entertaining with background music or just like to "kick it up a notch", you'll really enjoy this disc. For some reason, a lot of the
von Karajan DVD's are not in 5.1, but go ahead and buy this one, you will NOT be disapointed"