Vivaldi - The Four Seasons - Chinese Baroque Singers on 180g LP + CD
Exhibit Records Master's Match Audiophile Series
Exhibit Records presents the Chinese Baroque Players, in a new recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Performed on traditional Chinese instruments, this audiophile recording is arranged and conducted by Choo Boon Chong. Chong and the ensemble allow for Vivaldi's music to speak more delicately compared with traditional instrumentation on this famous piece. The arrangement is for Erhu, Qung Wan, Di, Cello, Pipa, all beautifully done by the Chinese Baroque Players for a marvelous new experience of The Four Seasons.
In the very early stage of preparing for this recording, producer KK Wong, along with this ensemble took great pains to capture the essence of Vivaldi and his period. The recording was made in a country home in Tai Po, China. The space, with its open windows made for a superior production, one that is up to the standards of the Master's Match Audiophile Series.
KK Wong and the Chinese Baroque Players made two artistic decisions which they believed would realistically capture the essence of the Vivaldi piece and period while at the same time be more demanding on the musicians. First, "volta prima" the band was to be challenged by no second takes, what they "got" the first time is what went on the record. No room for error. "We wanted this recording, despite its differing moods, to share a common feeling of enthusiastic enjoyment, of artists taking delight in their craft and Vivaldi's magical composition," explains KK Wong.
Second, "vivus" (to be alive) the recording was made away from the studio and its modern technical surroundings and being true to this state-of-the-art minimalism only two microphones and one 2-track analog Studer recorder was utilized. KK selected a verdant country setting at a beautiful home in Tai Po which he believes is one of the finest acoustic sites for a small group performance.
The group set up in the open space of this magnificent drawing room with open windows and this improvisational element fed the recording with the truth of nature and its seasons. This choice indeed proved to add verve and gusto to the performance and the recording, not to mention the occasional 21st Century interference, (which hopefully the listener will delight in discovering on his or her own).
The young woman who leads the Chinese Baroque Players is Erhu player Hsin Hsiao-Hung. If you have ever seen a performance on the Erhu you've noticed that it looks like a ladle with a long handle without frets, fitted with two strings and a bow inserted between them. Its range spans about three octaves and has some of the qualities of the violin but with a more nasal tone. Exhibit Records plans to release another album in the future featuring Hsin Hsiao-Hung as a soloist.
Exhibit Records Master's Match Audiophile Series recordings capture with complete accuracy all of the musical energy and dynamics of the original performances. All recordings in the series include: a 180g virgin vinyl LP, Master's Match compact disc, frameable original cover art and fine quality inner sleeves. The vinyl LPs and Master's Match CDs are all mastered on the same master. They match exactly the master from which they are replicated, and provide exceptionally realistic listening experiences.
Chinese Baroque Players:
Hsin Hsiao Hung (two string violin)
Dao Hsao Ming (guitar)
Tan Bao Shih (bamboo flute)
Tang Kin Seng (cello)
Wang Ching (fretted flute
Li Tak Kong (dulcimer/harpsichord)
Vivaldi - The Four Seasons - Chinese Baroque Singers Track Listing:
1. Spring - Allegro
2. Spring - Largo
3. Spring - Allegro
4. Summer - Allegro non molto
5. Summer - Adagio
6. Summer - Presto
7. Autumn - Allegro
8. Autumn - Adagio molto
9. Autumn - Allegro
10. Winter - Allegro non molto
11. Winter - Largo
12. Winter - Allegro