Album: Nigel Kennedy, Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, 20th Anniversary Edition (EMI Classics)

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The Independent Culture

Nigel Kennedy can be a frustrating proposition – unbearable when subjecting Hendrix to rude disinterment, for example – but unbeatable on his home turf.

Kennedy's Four Seasons is an album which transformed not just the interpretive breadth accorded Vivaldi, but the commercial potential of classical music as a whole. Repackaged along with a Golden Rose-winning film of Kennedy's performance, it remains strikingly fresh, with the sly, dive-bombing glissandi and fluttering-leaf trills which open the Adagio Molto second movement of the Autumn concerto still having the power to shock two decades on.

Download this: Concerto No 1 in E, 'La Primavera', Concerto No 3 in F, 'L'Autunno'