Please note this review is about the Four Seasons Vivaldi musical performance only and NOT the Opera at the same venue
Thinking this was a 'must see' event while in Venice, I pre-booked this evening to see Vivaldis Four Seasons through Viator expecting great things from what was billed as Venice's 'acclaimed I Musici Veneziani.' However, whilst the performance was technically OK I found the whole evening to be lacking any joy or sparkle. Perhaps the musicians were having an off night as looking at other reviews, my comments appear to be in the minority. But for me, the best part of the night was the costumes and the staff at the venue who were most helpful and considerate.
Listening to the first part of the evening, I became conscious two or three pieces in that I was waiting for something in the performance to step up a gear. The musicians were technically ok - good although not brilliant but there was no enthusiasm or the feeling of a performance as such. It was as if they were tired and flat. I have to say I felt a sense that they played the same pieces night in, night out, which I know they probably do, but I shouldn't have FELT that from professionals. It was like they were going through the motions, smiling weakly at the applause between pieces, then continuing in a perfunctory manner.
The interval seemed abrupt and lasted far too long. My interest was already waning by then but I expected it to improve once we got to the main event - the magnificent and touching, 'Four Seasons.' and eagerly anticipated the introduction of Mr Virtuoso to inject a little more joie de vivre into the evening. He did add a little more energy, although I think much of that was the pieces of music themselves, but her was no Nigel Kennedy. I don't think he was well as he coughed between acts and virtually ran off the stage at the end, leaving everyone thinking and asking each other, 'Is that it?'
Perhaps it is the case that you get what you pay for. At 26 and 35 a ticket, perhaps that is considered cheap but with the reviews and expectation that this was the 'acclaimed' I Musici Veneziani, I expected more.
Perfunctory is a good way to describe the whole evening. They did what they had to do. But the performance verged on dull. I'm only pleased I didn't pay more for a ticket as I would have felt short changed.
Very professional musicians who seemed passionate about Vivaldi music and wore typical Venetian costumes. Highly recommend the show. Only downside on a good note it ended too quick as was enjoying it - I could of listened to the music for a lot longer. You have two prices A 35 approx and B 26 approx however its not pre bookable seat as you have about 16 seats to a row with at least 6-8 rows for A and the same for B which is further at the back. Its first come first serve to get front row seats so best to get there around 1945 hours if you want to get closer to the stage. You can still hear well if you are in B seats. The show starts at 2030 hours and normally let you into the main hall about 20 minutes prior to show. The shows ends around 2145 hours. The staff speak Italian and very good English. From st marks square the concert hall is about 10 minute walk near Rialto area.
We thoroughly enjoyed this concert. The musicianship was exceptional and the program was very good as well. I felt that the room set in a semi-circle might be more conducive to this room. Otherwise, I would highly recommend this if you are in Venice. The musicians were all in period costumes that gave you the feel of being there hundreds of years ago. Much of the music is Vivaldi to be expected, but there is other pieces they played from the Renaissance period as well. Go and enjoy this while in Venice and get a gelato afterwards for a beautiful evening in this magical city.
A wonderful evening and I would highly recommend. Just a word of warning though - the ladies come on and play for a short while - 20 minutes or so then leave the stage. At this point several people left thinking that was the end of the evening. It would have been nice to have been advised that there would be an interval at this point rather than just walking off and nothing being said. Would go again having said that.
Great concert, good acoustic! A misleading seating detail - be aware if you pay extra for the front seats, it only means you get to sit on the first there-first served basis in the front half of the room, which has some 15 rows. Not a big issue though, a very good view and sound from any seat in the front half. Try to arrive a bit early to get good seats.