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MMM – Nigel Kennedy & The Four Seasons

Author: sounding images

A new episode of „Magic Moments of Music“: In 1989, Nigel Kennedy’s recording of The Four Seasons causes a turmoil in the world of classical music.

  • MMM – Nigel Kennedy & The Four Seasons | Copyright: © Nicholas Huda

    © Nicholas Huda

  • MMM – Nigel Kennedy & The Four Seasons | Copyright: © Carl Hyde; IDAGIO_Diago Mariotta Mendez

    © Carl Hyde; IDAGIO_Diago Mariotta Mendez

  • MMM – Nigel Kennedy & The Four Seasons | Copyright: © sounding images

    © sounding images

The film takes viewers back to 1989 when Nigel Kennedy and the English Chamber Orchestra shook up the music scene with their recording of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. With daring and verve, Kennedy appeals to an audience that was otherwise averse to classical music, resulting in album sales of over three million and an entry in the Guinness Book of Records.

Early on, the protege of Yehudi Menuhin stands out as a rebel: in the day he studies at the renowned Juilliard School and at night he plays in the New York jazz clubs and learns the art of improvisation, among others from Stéphane Grappelli.

Kennedy recalls: “The classical world felt like a straitjacket. I had to change something or else I had to get out. There was nothing to lose.” During the recording of The Four Seasons, he strives to free himself both from historically informed performance and the Russian School of playing. He seeks out and finds an interpretation that is keeping with the times. With his playing style and arresting appearance, he breaks with the conventions of the classical concert business. The controversy is even discussed in the UK Parliament.

With his groundbreaking recording, Kennedy helps young musicians to question the limitations and precedents of the classical music world and he pushes the door wide open for an audience to discover Vivaldi’s famous music. The violinist says of himself: “I can only be who I am. And that's how I am.”

English series title Magic Moments of Music
Duration 43 minutes
Director Silvia Palmigiano, Isabel Hahn
Producer Claus Wischmann
Executive Producer Christopher Janssen
Production year 2021
Production Company ZDF/ARTE, sounding images

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