Review of ‘Vivaldi and the Peak District’ (Video), by Robertsons of Bakewell

This review is by Julie Bunting, and was published originally in The Peak Advertiser, the Peak District's local free newspaper, on 25th August 2003, and is reproduced with Julie's kind permission.

VIVALDI AND THE PEAK DISTRICT VIDEO

A few years ago I was given a Peak District video which never received a second viewing because it was so poor. So I hoped for better things with this professional video release from Bakewell-based Robertsons. Managing to kidnap the remote control, I sat ready to fast-forward or turn down the sound if either the scenery or Vivaldi wobbled.

Instead, it was the rewind button which came into play while Vivaldi's Four Seasons was allowed full reign. Matching this musical masterpiece to all the moods and seasons of the Peak was inspirational; as one customer wrote from Devon: 'One could get quite emotional!'

Vivaldi's music provides the background to twelve groups of locations throughout the year. Taking four examples, Spring Allegro takes the viewer to Calton Pastures, Stanton Moor and along the rivers Wye and Lathkill; Summer Allegro to the Upper Derwent Valley; Autumn Adagio to Rowsley, Bakewell and Longstone Edge; and Winter Allegro to Robin Hood's Stride, Millers Dale and views towards the Roaches and Leek. I would have preferred to see the locations identified by captions rather than on a separate list but fully endorse the absence of a spoken commentary.

The close-ups reflect what we expect of the changing seasons: spring violets and a ladybird on a primrose; busy insects and fat rabbits; corn stubble and bright red speckled toadstools; a curtain of icicles and snow whipping around drystone walls. The music is synchronised to some delightful movement, as natural as nodding harebells or water cascading over Howden dam wall, or ducklings in a hurry to get back to the water.

Robertsons' film crew has not only been out in all four seasons, but at all hours and in all weathers. Their magical film of Kinder under snow, with the downfall frozen into immobility, could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the intrepid cameraman. By contrast, Chatsworth appears on the video in all seasons, reminding us that the Peak District is a major tourist attraction. This video will delight visitors and Peaklanders alike.

'Vivaldi and the Peak District' runs for approximately 43 minutes and costs £6.99. Available from shops and information centres around the Peak but in case of difficulty, please ring 01629 812087.

Review by Julie Bunting


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