Chamber Music
172210 - 06159867
Chamber Music
172210 - 06159867

Vivaldi 4 & 4 Piazzolla Seasons


Four professional virtuosos – and only one rendering of the

“Four Seasons”? Not when guitarist Aniello Desiderio, his brothers

Gennaro (violin) and Gaetano (piano) and percussionist Salvatore

Minale approach the cycle of spring, summer, autumn and winter. They require

two scores: the “classical” evergreen by the Venetian baroque maestro Antonio

Vivaldi and the “new tango” by Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla

or “Le Quattro Stagioni” from “Il Cimento dell’Armonia e dell’ Invenzione” and op. 8 in

“Cuatro Estaciones portenas”, to put it more precisely and in the language of the composers.

The 28th August 2009 is the great day, the release date of this masterpiece of

musical contrasts (label: Connector/in-akustik).

When Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) composed his

wonderfully picturesque cycle, he surely did not guess it would become one of

the greatest hits of all times, performed in so many different ways, including

various arrangements for all imaginable instruments, even hard rock bands. The

related compositions by “tango nuevo” pioneer Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) are also extremely

popular, and have been heard in a number of variations – three times on disc

combined with Vivaldi’s four-part cycle. And yet the production of this foursome

by the Aniello Desiderio Quartet has a lot of novelty to offer: for example the

unusual instrumentation, arrangements by composer Raffaele Minale, who with

great subtlety and insight blended the popular score with wonderful combinations

of timbre. Minale composed new transitions, which so naturally cross the bridge

between the two different musical worlds as if a jump over the Atlantic, the

“crossover” from Italy to South America, was a proverbial stone’s throw.

Finally, there is the unbeatable joy and virtuosity of the musicians. Quite

simply, this recording lives up to the name of the quartet: it has one major

feature, and that’s FURIOUS! The listener sits up to listen to the breathtaking

virtuosity of this performance. What would Paganini, who was also a brilliant

guitarist, have said to Aniello? How would Vivaldi and Piazzolla

sound if Paganini and Aniello had met and given free rein to their virtuosity

and their emotions? Besides all their musical skill, both master musicians had a

common gift crossing the ages: how to thrill and excite their audiences!

Aniello Desiderio, born in 1971 and lovingly nicknamed

“Il Fenomeno” in his

native Italy, is not only one of the most skilful players of his instrument, but

is also considered by many to be the guitarist of the century, worshipped by

critics and the media. He has received no fewer than eighteen first prizes at

national and international guitar competitions, confirming his outstanding

musicality; Desiderio, born in Naples, was acclaimed with superlatives like

“genius” or “the Orpheus of the guitar”. He manages breathtaking, lightning

switches of register and arpeggios like a circus acrobat – you could say, at

Ferrari pace. On Deutschlandradio, Aniello Desiderio was once deservedly

praised for his unbounded and outstanding command of his instrument: “Aniello

Desiderio fears neither heaven nor hell; he only recognises three authorities:

love, life and death.” He was a wunderkind, a child prodigy: at the age of four

he first started to learn the guitar, he had his first stage appearance when he

was eight, and when he was nine the Italian TV channel RAI UNO broadcast a

portrait of him within the limits of “pure” classical music. Nowadays of course,

Desiderio, Professor at Koblenz Musical Academy, is familiar with

flamenco, canzone di Napoli and tango.

His brother Gennaro, three years younger, first

followed him eagerly on the six strings before taking up the violin. Although he

qualified with a conservatory diploma, his style does not conform to academic

standards. And yet this “devil violinist” with the tremendous vibrato commands

all the tricks to stand up to comparison with the legendary wonder virtuoso

Niccolò Paganini – right up to a bewitching effect on the fairer sex. And

because as a Neapolitan one does not necessarily need to create competition

within the family, the third and youngest of the brothers, Gaetano

(Nino), sits at the (piano) keyboard.

It was only for percussion that the boys could not find

anyone within the family. So the versatile, sensitive and – when needed –

forceful Salvatore Minale stepped in to provide the necessary kick. All four

musicians seem to be filled with an astonishing musical fire. The best way to

experience the sparks flying is to see the band live, but even from the CD the

loudspeakers seem to be set on fire from the mind-blowing density of their

performance. Part of the reason for this is of course the outstanding recording

quality. Hi-fi fans will take notice when they hear the names of the recording

engineer and the studio: Johannes Wohlleben sat at the mixing desk in the famous

Bauer studios in Ludwigsburg. A concentration of love and joy of playing,

spectacular compositions, a fantastic sound and Neapolitan energy are the recipe

for this cocktail of the two cycles, a delight for the lovers of all musical

genres. This CD comes with a fascination guarantee – at any time of the year!

  • Spring I
  • Spring II
  • Spring III
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Summer I
  • Summer II
  • Summer III
  • Autumn I
  • Autumn II
  • Autumn III
  • Autumn
  • Winter I
  • Winter II
  • Winter III
  • Winter