I’ve been a fan of the Academy of Ancient Music since I picked up its performance of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons as a teenager in the UK. Though into rock and prog at the time, I was always trying to expand my learning and would occasionally turn the dial from BBC Radio One (for John Peel, late at night) to Radio Four where I tried to make my way in the heady world of classical music. It was how the album was promoted and sold: you’ve never heard Vivaldi until you’ve heard it on the original instruments! I mean, this tied right in at the time to the advent of CDs (“hear it as the musicians did in the control room!”) and the beginning of “from the original master tapes!” turning up on recordings. I was all in, and it’s a thrilling recording.
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