As Pentatone is phasing out their SACD releases and we see more and more CD-only titles on this label, it is just mind boggling that this one got the SACD treatment. This confirms my earlier complaints that there seems to be no logic behind Pentatone's decision-making; it's just arbitrary. Or perhaps it all comes down to star power - although even then, I wouldn't call Arabella Steinbacher a "star" by any measure. So who knows.
What makes this especially exasperating is that in the same month, Pentatone has also released two discs of Masses by Mozart, Bruckner and Stravinsky - on CD-only. Why this violinist churning out some completely irrelevant Vivaldi merits the full multi-channel hybrid SACD luxury is beyond comprehension.
In the end, what everyone really needs is yet another Vivaldi Four Seasons, right? Mixing it up and interspersing it with Piazzola's thoroughly pointless take on it is gimmicky (at best) and sure to make some sales. And therein lies our explanation for where Pentatone is headed these days. Survival is the best word that comes to mind. And Classical music as we knew it takes another nose-dive toward triviality.
For the record: I didn't buy this. I won't. But I'm sure she plays it all just fine for those who are desperate for yet another Four Seasons.
Postscript: I wonder how long it will take Pentatone to realize that their success has been because of their high-quality DSD recording techniques and their dedication to the SACD format. And once that disappears from their reputation, the loyalty of their customers will disappear too.