Janine Jansen, the world-famous violinist from Soest, a town in the central Netherlands, and Amsterdam Sinfonietta perform the Antonio Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Op.8. Recorded at TivoliVredenburg during the Internationaal Kamermuziek Festival Utrecht, on June 29, 2014.
The Four Seasons (Le quattro stagioni) is a group of four violin concerti by Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi, each of which gives a musical expression to a season of the year. Were composed in 1723 and were published in 1725 in Amsterdam, together with eight additional violin concerti, as Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione (The contest between harmony and invention).
The Four Seasons is the best known of Vivaldi's works. Unusual for the time, Vivaldi published the concerti with accompanying poems (possibly written by Vivaldi himself) that elucidated what it was about those seasons that his music was intended to evoke. It provides one of the earliest and most-detailed examples of what was later called program music – music with a narrative element.
Vivaldi took great pains to relate his music to the texts of the poems, translating the poetic lines themselves directly into the music on the page. In the middle section of the Spring concerto, where the goatherd sleeps, his barking dog can be marked in the viola section. Other natural occurrences are similarly evoked. Vivaldi separated each concerto into three movements, fast-slow-fast, and likewise each linked sonnet into three sections.
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Le Quattro Stagioni / The Four Seasons (1723)
Concerto No.1 in E major, Op.8, RV 269, "La primavera" (Spring)
i. Allegro [0:04]*
ii. Largo e pianissimo sempre [3:31]
iii. Allegro pastorale [6:02]
Concerto No.2 in G minor, Op.8, RV 315, "L'estate" (Summer)
i.Allegro non molto [10:22]
ii. Adagio e piano – Presto e forte [15:41]
iii. Presto [17:54]
Concerto No.3 in F major, Op.8, RV 293, "L'autunno" (Autumn)
i. Allegro [21:01]
ii. Adagio molto [26:10]
iii. Allegro [28:41]
Concerto No.4 in F minor, Op.8, RV 297, "L'inverno" (Winter)
i. Allegro non molto [32:05]
ii. Largo [35:21]
iii. Allegro [37:00]
Janine Jansen, violin
TivoliVredenburg, Internationaal Kamermuziek Festival Utrecht, June 29, 2014
* Start time of each track
With an enviable international reputation, violinist Janine Jansen (b. 1978) works regularly with the world's most eminent orchestras and conductors. This season she is Perspectives Artist at Carnegie Hall New York performing a variety of concerto and chamber music programmes throughout the season, while tours are planned with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Daniele Gatti), London Symphony Orchestra (with Michael Tilson Thomas as well as Semyon Bychkov) and Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie (Paavo Järvi).
Other highlights this season include engagements with the Berlin Philharmonic (Paavo Järvi), Munich Philharmonic (Zubin Mehta), Staatskapelle Dresden (Antonio Pappano), Philadelphia Orchestra and Rotterdam Philharmonic (Yannick Nézet-Seguin), Czech Philharmonic (Jakob Hrusa), Oslo Philharmonic and Vienna Symphony (David Afkham), Royal Stockholm Philharmonic (Karina Canellakis) and Iceland Symphony (Daniel Blendulf). She will also travel to the Far East and Australia performing with Singapore, Sydney and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras.
A devoted chamber musician, Janine joins Mischa Maisky, Martha Argerich, Itamar Golan and Lily Maisky for a major European Chamber Music Tour. She performs a number of recitals throughout Europe with pianists Alexander Gavrylyuk, Elisabeth Leonskaja and Kathryn Stott. As part of her Perspectives Series at Carnegie Hall she will perform Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time" with Lucas Debargue, Torleif Thedéen and Martin Fröst. In this context she will also perform the US premiere of Michel van der Aa's violin concerto with Philadelphia Orchestra and Nézet-Seguin. Further concerts at Carnegie Hall include a chamber programme with Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the Dover Quartet.
Janine records exclusively for Decca Classics and since recording Vivaldi's Four Seasons back in 2003 she has been extremely successful in the digital music charts. Her latest release, conducted by Antonio Pappano, features Bartok's Violin Concerto No.1 with London Symphony Orchestra and Brahms' Violin Concerto with the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Other highlights of her discography include a recording of Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No.2 with London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski, Beethoven and Britten with Paavo Järvi, Mendelssohn and Bruch with Riccardo Chailly, Tchaikovsky with Daniel Harding as well as an album of Bach Concertos with her own ensemble. Janine has also released a number of chamber music discs, including Schubert's String Quintet and Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht and Sonatas by Debussy, Ravel and Prokofiev with pianist Itamar Golan.
Janine has won numerous prizes, including four Edison Klassiek Awards, four ECHO Klassik awards, the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, NDR Musikpreis for outstanding artistic achievement and the Concertgebouw Prize. She has been given the VSCD Klassieke Muziekprijs for individual achievement and the Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist Award for performances in the UK. In September 2015 she was awarded the Bremen MusikFest Award. Janine studied with Coosje Wijzenbeek, Philipp Hirshhorn and Boris Belkin.
In 2003 Janine founded the hugely successful International Chamber Music Festival in Utrecht. After 13 years Janine stepped down from her position as Artistic Director in June 2016 and named cellist Harriet Krijgh as her successor.
Janine Jansen plays the 1707 Stradivarius "Rivaz - Baron Gutmann" violin kindly on loan from Dextra Musica.
Amsterdam Sinfonietta has occupied a unique position as the only professional string orchestra in the Netherlands for the past 25 years. It enjoys an international reputation and has given concerts throughout the world. The ensemble comprises 22 string players who perform under the leadership of its concertmaster and artistic leader Candida Thompson.
Amsterdam Sinfonietta was founded in 1988, with Lev Markiz as its first artistic director. Candida Thompson has been concertmaster of the ensemble since 1995, as well as its artistic director since 2003. This approach to music-making without a conductor is what distinguishes the group from "regular" chamber orchestras. It calls for an extremely intense degree of involvement from all the musicians. In past years Amsterdam Sinfonietta has toured Europe, China, the United States and Australia. It has appeared at major venues including the Barbican Hall in London, Cité de la Musique in Paris, the National Centre of Performing Arts in Beijing and the Berlin Konzerthaus.
The repertoire encompasses a variety of styles, ranging from Baroque to contemporary works. Alongside performances of mainstream repertoire, the orchestra frequently champions unjustly neglected or new works. Amsterdam Sinfonietta has recently premièred compositions by composers such as Sofia Gubaidulina, Florian Maier, Michel van der Aa, Pēteris Vasks, Thomas Larcher and Sally Beamish. The ensemble has gained a reputation for creating highly innovative programmes; its trademark versatility recently earned it the prestigious classical music prize De Ovatie (The Ovation) in 2013. It frequently presents original and compelling combinations of works, initiates surprising collaborations and embraces groundbreaking concepts involving video art, dance or theatre. Successful partnerships were forged with the choreographers Emio Greco and PC, the actor Jeroen Willems, choreographer Nanine Linning, stage director Pierre Audi and singer-songwriter Patrick Watson.
Amsterdam Sinfonietta has worked with a host of internationally renowned musicians, such as Sergei Khachatryan, Barbara Hannigan, Sol Gabetta, David Fray, Janine Jansen, Dejan Lazić, Steven Isselis, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Isabelle Faust, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Jasper de Waal, Martin Fröst, Alexander Melnikov, Christianne Stotijn, Bobby McFerrin and Wende.
In past seasons Amsterdam Sinfonietta has undertaken tours with Sol Gabetta, Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Martin Fröst. In January 2014 the Orchestra joined forces with the American baritone Thomas Hampson, performing a unique song programme in twelve concert halls across Europe. Upcoming projects in season 2017-2018 include a tour through Europe and South America.
Amsterdam Sinfonietta's educational KleuterSinfonietta children's performances are enjoyed by thousands of young children in the Netherlands each year. It also organises the Sinfonietta Strijkersdagen (Sinfonietta String Players Days), giving young musicians the opportunity to participate in workshops and perform in public in specially formed string orchestras.
Within the past decade Amsterdam Sinfonietta has produced an impressive array of CDs under Candida Thompson's leadership, in collaboration with the high-quality Channel Classics label. These include "The Mahler Album" (2011), "Britten" (2013) "Shostakovich & Weinberg" (2013) and "The Argentinian Album" (2014). The latest CD "Schubert String Quintet" was released in October 2015. Recently the Orchestra has also recorded CDs for labels such as ECM, Sony Classical and Deutsche Grammophon.
Olivier Messiaen: Quatuor pour la fin du temps – Martin Fröst, Lucas Debargue, Janine Jansen, Torleif Thedéen (Download 96kHz/24bit & 44.1kHz/16bit)
Dmitri Shostakovich: Piano Trio No.1 in C minor – Janine Jansen, Torleif Thedéen, Eldar Nebolsin
Antonio Vivaldi: The Four Seasons – Julia Fischer, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Kenneth Sillito (Two Versions, HD 1080p)
Vivaldi Unmasked (Vivaldi and the Four Seasons) – Clio Gould, Charles Hazlewood – BBC, 2002