A vivid Vivaldi but a too tame Rebel

Midori Seiler plays Vivaldi's Four Seasons with perfect tone at an awesome pace, but Rebel's Les Elements fails to ignite

Composer: Vivaldi, Rebel 
Repertoire: Four Seasons(Vivaldi); Les Elements (Rebel)
Artists: Midori Seiler (violin), Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin 
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Instrumental
Label:  Harmonia Mundi HMC 902061

Seiler contorts her fiddle to the sun, wind, rain and ice of Vivaldi’s extraordinary imagination with aggressive bowing, awesome speeds and brilliant tone. The Berliners’ period strings shadow her darkly, their muted echoes slightly menacing in ‘Spring’, their chattering tremolo a threat in ‘Winter’. Nothing is as ominous, however, as the opening chord of Rebel’s Les Elements which is a violent, full-bore, 20th-century discord 250 years early. The ensuing 10-movement suite is disappointingly tame, although the plastic bird whistles in ‘Ramage’ and the wind effect in ‘Caprice’ are mildly diverting.