Vivaldis The Seasons - from the top of the world

The extreme – wind, snow, cold, rainfall, thaw and heat – are vividly experienced in Kraggerud’s interpretation of The Four Seasons. Henning Kraggerud manages to capture the climatic range experienced on top of the world in his music-making. And there’s more – between the seasons. 

In Vivaldi’s day, Europe was experiencing the ‘Little Ice Age’ and the seasons in Italy were actually similar to what we experience in Norway today – a foundation for the powerful readings found on this album. Kraggerud has worked with Norwegian author Erik Fosnes Hansen (‘Psalm at Journey’s End’) for the program on this disc, which includes both The Seasons and premiere recordings of three new Kraggerud pieces.

Between the seasons

Inspired by Kremer and Desyatnikov’s combination of Vivaldi and Piazzolla, Kraggerud has included four of his own works in-between the seasons. The pieces chosen evokes different connotations and new angles through which we can experience the world’s most popular classical work. Kraggerud’s pieces both comment and contrast Vivaldi’s moods – positioned as it were between the seasons, forming an eight spoke wheel.

Vivaldi’s personal seasons

The album is accompanied by poetic liner notes from author Erik Fosnes Hansen, chronicling Vivaldi’s life story and relating it both to the music and also the sonnets that were printed along with the original work: ‘These admired and loved musical illustrations are like tapestries from a vanished era. They tell of simple, ordinary things that happen in the seasons, with all the drama that can lie in such simple and ordinary events. But just as a year has its seasons, so too does a life. So, let us look more closely at the life of this composer.’

Musical and lyrical virtuosity both as performer and composer

Henning Kraggerud is a leading violinist, also continuously building his reputation as a composer. Recent examples are included on this album ‘Preghiera’, commissioned by the Brodsky Quartet, and ‘the last leaf’, premièred by Britten Sinfonia. Kraggerud is the Artistic Director of the Arctic Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. His recent release ‘Equinox’ for Simax Classics has been hailed all over the world: – opened a window on a magical world. I can't wait to hear the whole thing in action. [5 stars BBC Music Magazine]

Erik Fosnes Hansen is a Norwegian award-winning author, his work is translated into more than 30 languages. 

Tracklist PSC1356

Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto No. 1 in E Major: La Primavera, Op. 8 No. 1 / RV 269 10:07

1 I Allegro 03:27

2 II Largo e pianissimo 02:50

3 III Allegro (Danza Pastorale) 03:50

4 Henning Kraggerud: Preghiera 07:34

Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto No. 2 in G Minor: L'Estate, Op. 8, No. 2 / RV 315 10:27

5 I Allegro non molto – Allegro 05:03

6 II Adagio 02:47

7 III Presto (Tempo impettuoso d’Estate) 02:37

8 Henning Kraggerud: Postludium in B flat Minor from Equinox – 24 Postludes in all keys for Violin and Chamber Orchestra 02:57

Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto No. 3 in F Major: L'Autunno, ), Op. 8 No. 3 / RV 293 10:44

9 I Allegro 05:10

10 II Adagio molto 02:44

11 III Allegro (La Caccia) 02:50

12 Henning Kraggerud: the last leaf  – Magnus in Memoriam 09:39

Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto No. 4 in F Minor: L'Inverno, Op. 8 No. 4 / RV 297 08:30

13 I Allegro non molto 03:02

14 II Largo 02:14

15 III Allegro 03:14


16 Henning Kraggerud: Victimae Paschali 03:35

Henning Kraggerud, violin 

Arctic Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra

Cat. no.: PSC1356