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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Luka Sulic, The Four Seasons, Antonio Vivaldi, Archi dell'academia di Santa Cecilia

Cello virtuosi Luka Sulic comes front and center for his first solo recording in this "new in the old" venture, a rearrangement of Vivaldi's Four Seasons (Sony Classical I0075986552) as a showcase for solo cello and the Archi dell'accademia di Santi Cecilia.

Luka is best know as a member of 2Cellos. Here he tops himself with a highly dynamic Seasons that sports at times some breathtaking sections taken at a maddening clip, exhilaratingly so. Baroque-fast is nothing new. Think of Glenn Gould's speedy Bach for piano. The group Baroque horserace is not entirely common though. Some Messiah's (notably one recently covered in last few years on these pages. Look it up.) can rock us, and what is wrong with that? I cannot say I do not like this exciting take on an old duffer of a popular favorite. Anything to breathe some life into it all.

And new life it surely takes on. Sulic did the re-arranging and it works in all ways, not least of which happens in the Cello Department. If you resist such rethinkings on purist lines, all well and good for you. I found myself responding without hesitation once I set aside my initial resistance to disturbing the pantheon. The cello playing is impressive as are the strings of St. Cecilia. It is all rather a joy to hear.


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