Kazuhito Yamashita & Larry Coryell : Antonio Vivaldi – The Four Seasons : CD
VIVALDI: Spring; Summer ; Autumn ; Winter .
BMG Japan, Inc. – BVCJ-35033
This recording was originally issued on RCA in 1984, and was quite ahead of its time in the sense that Coryell, usually known for his Jazz – styled playing was playing the Vivaldi complete Four Seasons on a steel – strung guitar, accompanied by Kazuhito Yamashita the Japanese classical guitarist who became known for his, at the time, almost impossibly difficult arrangements of music such as Moussorgsky’s complete Pictures at an Exhibition for guitar solo. So in essence then this was a very diverse pair of players whose styles were often completely different.
The first thing that hits you is the clarity of the solo playing, which I think is Coryell’s guitar. Coryell, who tragically died in 2017, was certainly able to play the very fast melodic lines that the piece in its original form demanded, and so the new sound that this quite different duo gives to the Vivaldi is very entertaining. (Incidentally I looked on line for the score, and found it, selling for 249 Euros on one site!! – I won’t embarrass them by naming them)
Certainly with the two players that we have on this recording , both able to play extremely fast and technically perfect at the same time, we find that this recording is well worth trying to get your hands on ( it was also issued on vinyl too, as well as several times on various CDs ), and if you love the Vivaldi but wonder whether there is any way it could be played slightly differently resulting in a different listening experience, then this album is definitely for you, as it is constantly a wonderful recording played by two master musicians , one sadly no longer with us . The album is slightly short at only 39 minutes in total, as there are no other pieces on this CD, however , in case that fact makes a difference to you.