Academy of St Martin in the Fields

Four Seasons

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A generous sprinkling of iconic Vivaldian ‘seasoning’ and Beethoven’s defiant symphonic optimism swaddle something whose ink is scarcely dry: a new work by bassist Edgar Meyer.

Vivaldi The Four Seasons
Edgar Meyer New Commission
Beethoven Symphony No. 2

Conductor & Violin Joshua Bell

Springtime chirruping to gusty summer squalls; Autumn drunkenness to winter’s icy chill, Vivaldi’s ‘Le Quattro Stagioni’ is a foursome for all seasons. The concertos were published in a set titled ‘the contest between harmony and invention’, but in truth both win out. Beethoven at his most ebullient bags the second half for a symphony whose Scherzo left Berlioz blindsided by its abandon, gaiety and wit. And, hot on the heels of his first fully orchestral work – recently premiered in Nashville – there’s a specially commissioned score from the enthusiastically genre-bending Edgar Meyer.

Meyer and violinist Joshua Bell have collaborated before but, from Sting to Chick Corea, Bell is himself a boundarydemolishing serial collaborator. In 2011 he became Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, and in their enthusiastic partnership The New York Times detects “a groove of winning, precise exuberance”.

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Academy of St Martin in the Fields