Nigel Kennedy - Vivaldi: The Four Seasons - 1989 Recording | RECORD STORE DAY

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Vivaldi: The Four Seasons - 1989 Recording
Artist: Nigel Kennedy
Format: Vinyl


Rel. Date: 08/19/2022
UPC: 190296518522

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Nigel Kennedy's recording was released on 25th September 1989 and went on to become one of the best-selling classical albums of all-time, selling over three million copies around the world. Originally recorded in November 1986 in the Church of St John-at-Hackney, London, it was a recording that would achieve unprecedented public and media attention and change the course of music history. Vivaldi's work, 12 movements in short three-minute bursts, was tailor-made for commercial radio. It was the first time that commercial pop marketing techniques had been used in the classical world and the first time that Nigel was unleashed on the media. It was a phenomenon waiting to happen. Nigel Kennedy's recording of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons sold over three million copies around the world. It topped the UK classical chart for over a year and entered the Guinness Book of Records as the bestselling classical recording ever. In 1989, the classical music industry came to terms with life after Herbert von Karajan. His death on 16 July marked the passing from the world of maestros to that of megastars. Pundits had predicted a classical music boom, courtesy of the new digital sound carrier, the compact disc, but no one could foresee a world in which Three Tenors, glamorous violinists and Welsh mezzo-sopranos would dominate the pop charts. And then there was Nigel Kennedy, a pupil of the Yehudi Menuhin School whose star was about to rise. He left the hothouse environment at Stoke d'Abernon with his individuality intact and came to the notice of Simon Foster, the A&R manager at EMI's budget classical label, Classics for Pleasure. It was Foster who championed Nigel's recording of Elgar's Violin Concerto, made at a fortnight's notice in 1984. Gramophone magazine gave it the 'Record of the Year' Award, and it received a gong from the early years of the Brit Awards for 'Best Classical Recording'. On 24 April 1986, Kennedy stepped up from the mid-price Eminence label to sign an exclusive contract with EMI Records UK, albeit in the face of some scepticism from the internal International Classical Division. It was suggested by one senior executive that no one called Nigel would ever make it. 'What? Like Adrian?' came the reply from another executive, and the objection was not raised again. The Wogan Show and other TV appearances introduced Nigel to a wider audience. Six months later, Nigel began recording this CD. Wider fame arrived with a concert in aid of The Prince's Trust in July 1989 attended by Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Nigel played the last movement of 'Summer' with the CBSO conducted by Sir George Martin, one-time producer to The Beatles. After the concert, the BBC Radio 1 presenter Annie Nightingale introduced Nigel to the attending Royals and asked if Nigel should teach the violin to William and Harry. Diana smiled. 'I wouldn't let you within a million miles of them.' Nigel, unperturbed, replied: 'Shocking, your Royal Monstrette.'