Which Vivaldi Four Seasons CD to buy???

OK - I'm a total beginner when it comes to classical music. I'm only recently getting into it because it helps me get through my law school readings and retain the information. The music I normally listen to doesn't really do that.

Anyway, I figure Vivaldi's Four Seasons is a good place to start. (I think that my taste leans towards the Baroque era because I also like Albinoni Adagio). My problem is which Four Seasons CD is the best one in terms of the musician and audiophile quality? There seem to be so many out there... (I think that my father has one by Telarc?)

Does anyone know where to find Opalchip's recommendation:

"Corelli's Concerti Grossi on Nicholas McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra Harmonia Mundi HMU 907014 (CD). This was on Stereophile's 1991 Records To Die For list."

I cannot seem to find it anywhere online. I also can't seem to find it on Harmonia's website...


PS The Trevor Pinnock version sounds mighty fine on my systme! Thanks again!
Here's a quote from ArkivMusic.com :

Arcangelo Corelli - Concerto Grosso #5 in Bb op 6, #5 - HMU 907014 from the WGUC Playlist. That recording is out of print, but the exact same performance is available with a different catalog number and is displayed on this page:


According to the website only $5.99, if they really do have it!
The Pinnock 4 Seasons on Archiv is probably the best. I keep trying to find a better one.

That said, TFS is one of the most overplayed pieces of the Baroque period. I find that I have to limit my exposure. If I hear one more overly florid Largo from Winter, I won't go postal but, I could.

Still, TFS is a wonderful piece of music.

For an alternate take on the Four Seasons, try Nicholas Chedeville's Les Saisons Amusantes which as I understand was a Frenchman's take on the Four Seasons which was as big a hit in the 18 Century as it is now.

I have a version recorded on Claves which is out of print - There is a newer recording by The Palladian Ensemble available at Amazon etc.

Les Saisons Amusante is amusing to say the least but, I've always been partial to musette and hurdy gurdy.
For this sort of music you really can't go wrong with Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.

OK, it's a DVDA (not a CD) but Naxos 5.110001, London Mozart Players is a fine performance with excellent recording. And it cost me only $14.98!! (which is cheap for a DVDA).

The four seasons concertos are recorded with ambience only in the surround channels, but the disc also includes two other Vivaldi concertos for double orchestras that are recorded in true antiphonal manner.
I really like Christopher Hogwood and The Academy of Ancient Music's Four Seasons from L'oiseau-Lyre. I also have an SACD recording by Isaac Stern from Sony, but it sounds somewhat bright. I prefer the Hogwood.