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Mozart: Violin Concertos Nos 3-5

Gottfried von der Goltz (violin); Freiburg Baroque Orchestra/Kristian Bezuidenhout (piano) (Aparté)

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

Violin Concertos Nos 3-5
Gottfried von der Goltz (violin); Freiburg Baroque Orchestra/Kristian Bezuidenhout (piano)
Aparté AP299   71:20 mins


If the mainstream 20th-century tendency was towards making Mozart sound smoother and tonally sophisticated, the last couple of decades on the contrary have witnessed a move towards bracing, playful interpretative freedoms and radical sonic profiling. Witness this stunning new release from Gottfried von der Goltz and his glorious Freiburg band, directed (with occasional gentle asides and flourishes) from the fortepiano by Kristian Bezuidenhout.

Von der Goltz plays with his customary intonational purity, elegance of phrasing, lively articulation, enhanced left-hand clarity and interpretative buoyancy, re-invigorating Mozart’s sparkling invention with a beguiling inquisitiveness that creates the impression of someone freshly discovering the music’s special qualities. Above all, he plays with a disarming naturalness and inspires such a keenly responsive two-way dialogue with the orchestra that the normally clear-cut distinction between soloist and ‘accompaniment’ is affectionately cushioned.

The Freiburg orchestra match this with keenly responsive playing and exhilaration in the young Mozart’s freewheeling invention. When the A major Concerto’s rondo finale turns to the minor mode, there is a real chill created by insinuating chromaticisms and clattering, ‘Turkish’-style col legno effects. Turn to the martialistic dotted rhythms of the D major’s opening movement and in place of the usual reassuring militaristic pomp, one encounters a thrilling sense of edge-of-the-seat excitement that drives the music irresistibly onwards.


Julian Haylock