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Sharing releases, present and past, to brighten your day. WXXI Classical has its eyes and ears on the latest releases from classical artists working today. When we come across a story or a release we think you might enjoy, we’ll be sharing it with you on CD Spotlight. You’ll learn more about the artists online at WXXI Classical, and you’ll hear selections from these artists on FM 91.5. CD Spotlight shares new releases by artists that you’ll want to know and some by great artists and ensembles that deserve to be in the spotlight again.

CD Spotlight: The New Four Seasons - Vivaldi Recomposed

Cover of Max Richter The New Four Seasons
Cover of Max Richter The New Four Seasons

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons enchanted composer Max Richter as a child. Over time, he grew to dislike it for its omnipresence in movies, on television, in commercials. After awhile, he decided that he should have another “conversation” with the pieces, and created Vivaldi Recomposed. And it was a smash hit: he rediscovered his love, and the CD sold millions. But when that version became ubiquitous, Richter decided another chat was in order.

Welcome to Richter/Vivaldi 2.0, a project he calls The New Four Seasons. For this outing, he worked with violinist Elena Urioste and the ethnically diverse Chineke! Orchestra, using gut strings and lighter bows. And for good measure, Richter is playing a vintage Moog synthesizer. “We hear [The Four Seasons] everywhere—when you’re on hold, you hear it in the shopping center, in advertising; it’s everywhere,” Richter told NPR. “For me, the record and the project are trying to reclaim the piece, to fall in love with it again.” It is, as Richter said, “like seeing a sculpture from a different angle.”

So did it work? Violinist Urioste certainly thought so: “It’s rare that a project with so many people involved has such an incredible level of commitment. And the music-making has felt just so organic and lovely and warm and all the things you hope for in a project.”

May you also find this CD lovely and warm.

A Strong Memorial baby and Greece Arcadia grad, Julia Figueras was the Music Director and mid-day host for WXXI Classical until June 30, 2023 when she retired after more than 26 years of service. She also hosted the award-winning monthly interview/performance show, Backstage Pass.