Album: Rebel/Vivaldi, Les Eléments/Le Quattro Stagioni (Harmonia Mundi)

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The Independent Culture

There is little to link Les Eléments and Le Quattro Stagioni beyond their pictorial daring and the number four.

Jean-Féry Rebel's depiction of Chaos – a violent smudge in which each note of the D minor scale is sounded simultaneously – predates Haydn's by 60 years, and is the most revolutionary gesture in his "nouvelle symphonie". Berlin's Akademie delivers an elegant performance with piquant avian effects.

Midori Seiler's Vivaldi is a slow burner. Spring is tame and twee, though Summer, Autumn and Winter are more expressive.

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