Composer Max Richter on his love-hate relationship with Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”

Posted on: June 15, 2022

“I fell in love with Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons when I was very young,” writes composer Max Richter in Friday’s (6/10) Guardian (U.K.). “As an adult, I heard the music relentlessly on TV adverts, jingles and on-hold music. I grew to hate it. In a way, I stopped being able to hear it as music at all. I needed to resolve the love/hate relationship I had with the work … I saw there was a natural meeting point between his baroque language and my own….. The result, 2012’s Recomposed, succeeded in letting me encounter The Four Seasons afresh … However, it wasn’t quite the record I had originally envisaged…. There is something special about the textures and sonorities that period instruments bring to Vivaldi’s score, and I continued to think about what Recomposed would sound like played on the instruments of Vivaldi’s time. I felt there was another journey I wanted to make through this material, and so I decided to rerecord Recomposed…. Seeing as we were going back to period instruments, I decided to use a vintage synthesiser, too, a Moog from the early 1970s … With the brilliant soloist Elena Urioste and musicians from Chineke! Orchestra, it truly felt like a new journey, like seeing a sculpture from a different angle.”