From a statistical point of view, Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” probably belongs to the top ten most popular pieces of classical music recorded and played (sometimes even overplayed) on classical music radio stations. Not daunted by its overwhelming popularity, modern classical composer Max Richter set to revisit Antonio Vivaldi’s concerto as part of the “recomposed” series on the Deutsche Grammophon label.
Released at the end of 2012, Recomposed by Max Richter is neither another interpretation of the Four Seasons nor a remix but a rework of the original piece based on Vivaldi’s score. According to the composer himself,
“I decided to rewrite the score on a note level which meant re-recording it with an orchestra […] I went through it, picking my favourite bits and turning those up and making new objects out of those […] The piece is pretty radical with the material, I’ve probably thrown away three quarters of the notes, but I’ve kept the gestures and the shape and the texture and the dynamics of Vivaldi.”
What makes the project really interesting is the revisit of a 1725 piece with the hindsight of 287 years of music and popular culture. While in the liner notes Max Richter acknowledges the influence of Led Zeppelin, The Beach Boys or The Beatles, the concerto was also reworked
“from the perspective of somebody who’s heard minimal music, who’s heard electronica, who’s heard post-rock.” Max Richter
The full reworked version filmed at Le Poisson Rouge, New York in December 2012 with Tito Muñoz conducting, Daniel Hope on lead…violin, Max Richter on piano/electronics and the LPR ensemble (the first 48′ of the clip) is an absolute treat: