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Noa Wildschut’s debut recording of Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5, Adagio in E and Violin Sonata No. 32

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

Violin Concerto No. 5; Adagio in E; Violin Sonata No. 32
Noa Wildschut (violin), Yoran Ish-Hurwitz (piano); Netherlands Chamber Orchestra/Gordan Nikolic
Warner Classics 9029582843


Here’s the debut recording of a very young – only 15 when this all-Mozart programme was recorded, in October 2016 – and obviously very remarkable instrumentalist. According to Warner’s booklet essayist she’s already ‘the pre-eminent young Dutch violinist’, a big claim backed up by an already striking number of international debuts and by her collaboration with such distinguished seniors as Anne-Sophie Mutter. The souvenir-ish booklet presentational style, with interviews and personal statements (‘Wow, Warner, thank you so much for your faith in me!’) in place of musical analysis, and nothing biographical about the other leading musicians involved, makes it clear what kind of market this is being aimed at.

And yet the CD adds up to a much more impressive Mozartian encounter than the above might lead one to expect. Its strongest feature is an unusually invigorating account of the B flat sonata, K454, full of beautifully springy violin phrases and sensitive interplay between Noa Wildschut and Yoram Ish-Hurwitz, the superbly alert pianist. (Only from the bonus DVD does one learn that he’s in fact her uncle.)

For some tastes the Andante tempo may prove riskily slow, but everywhere their mutual responsiveness justifies the artistic choices made. A similarly potent feeling of communicative interaction between soloist and Netherlands Chamber Orchestra is evident in the concerto and K261 readings – but undermined for me by Wildschut’s specially-composed solo cadenzas, tiresomely lengthy and out of keeping with the surrounding musical substance. Alongside my own favourite K219 recordings, by James Ehnes, Shlomo Mintz, Grumiaux, Francescatti and the very young Mutter herself, the new one will probably take a subordinate place; but the disc as a whole is one I’ll be glad to replay.

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Max Loppert