Lacking the plangency and heart thrill and squeeze of the original………and yet…….
The Jacques Loussier Trio – Jacques himself on piano, Vincent Charbonnier on bass and Andre Arpino on drums, here bring their jazz interpretation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons – two instruments to provide what an orchestra does, in terms of melody texture, tone and harmony, and with a much stronger emphasis on rhythm, with that third instrument being percussive.
Many years ago, in the brief period when I stopped listening to classical music by safely long dead composers, I came across a jazz version of The Four Seasons – no idea who by, I had mistakenly thought it must be Jacques Loussier, due to his connection with Jazz Bach – but I’ve recently come across this definitely Loussier version. And very fine it is too
I do have to say that the original orchestral piece, with the richness of the different tones brought by more instruments, and the dominance of melody and harmony which classical music has, over overt rhythm, is full of much more visceral, heart, soul, spirit grab than a jazz version is likely to be, for me. Classical pieces (well certain classical pieces, if well performed, and Four Seasons is one) seem to unlock my tear ducts, and I will listen, tears (without obvious simple, named emotion behind them) will pour down my face, and I will feel the music stretching itself as if into the fascia of my body. Not a cerebral response, not a ‘this is pleasant’ response, but a kidnapping, a taking over.
Anyway, this, I do like a lot, it is marvellously pleasant, and I nod along, very happily, tapping my feet, thinking all sorts of things. It is bright, it is skilful, musical, playful, inventive. And I am very happy for all those things. I do not want to be kidnapped and held hostage all the time. I can admit to being very fond of this CD. It is not the madness of the coup de foudre of falling in love, which Vivaldi’s original is for me.
Warmly, not madly, besottedly, taken out of my senses and transportedly, enjoyed. I do think there may be something particularly supernatural about the violin and its powers…………