Vivaldi’s quartet of violin concertos The Four Seasonsis well trodden ground in both the concert hall and in the studio, not to mention the countless reimaginings by the likes of Max Richter, Nigel Kennedy and Anna Meredith – whose ANNO: Four Seasonsthe Australian Chamber Orchestra performs next year. This Spring alone, Sydney will see not just this performance of the Red Priest’s most famous concertos by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra but another coming up in November by the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra.
But for all the airtime they get, the pictorial Four Seasonscertainly still draw a crowd – SSO Concertmaster Andrew Haveron and a reduced orchestra played to a large and enthusiastic audience in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall. The core of SSO strings was joined by the Brandenburg’s Tommie Andersson on theorbo and baroque guitar, and Melbourne-based early keyboard specialist Donald Nicolson on harpsichord, and the strings used baroque bows.
The orchestra dispatched the unmistakable opening of Springwith verdant gusto and neatly terraced dynamics, Haveron bringing plenty of whimsy to the birdsong flourishes, jovially playing off his colleagues. The jazz-band collegiality made for an entertaining performance, and suited...