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For Every Thing There Is a Season

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Read my review published today in the Style section of the Washington Post:

Charles T. Downey, ‘Multi-Media Four Seasons’ by the Bach Sinfonia
Washington Post, May 9, 2011

available at Amazon
Vivaldi, Four Seasons, Concerto Italiano, R. Alessandrini
One does not need a gimmick to justify programming an over-performed piece such as Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” but it can’t hurt. These four violin concertos have been stretched, prodded and energized according to any number of extra-musical schemes, which sometimes do little to distinguish performances that are basically interchangeable. Add to the list the “Multi-Media Four Seasons” presented by the Bach Sinfonia on Saturday night at Montgomery College’s Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring.

The gimmick was a computer animation, designed by artists Yana Sakellion and Yan Da and projected on a large screen behind the performers. Against pedestrian season-themed backgrounds, lines from the piece’s accompanying descriptive sonnets appeared, cued to the corresponding points in the score by Artistic Director Daniel Abraham. Flocks of birds, clouds of hailstones or sprays of psychedelic flowers, in the style of the animated trail that follows your cursor on some Web sites, danced in spirals as a computer processed and reacted to the sounds made by the musicians. [Continue reading]
Multi-Media Four Seasons
Vivaldi, Le Stagioni
Bach Sinfonia
Cultural Arts Center, Montgomery College (Silver Spring, Md.)

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