ALBUM TITLE: Mozart: Violin Concertos
WORKS: Violin Concertos Nos 1, 2 & 5
PERFORMER: Julia Fischer (violin), Pieter-Jan Belder (harpsichord); Netherlands Chamber Orchestra/Yakov Kreizberg
CATALOGUE NO: PTC 5186 094
Following on from their recording of the Third and Fourth violin concertos, Julia Fischer and conductor Yakov Kreizberg here supply the remainder, including what is arguably the plum of the series, the so-called ‘Turkish’ Fifth. Though the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra is a modern-instrument ensemble, Kreizberg’s approach takes in much learned through the period instrument movement, and his accompaniments are pacey, spry and debonair.
They’re well matched by the playing of his soloist, which is nigh-on technically unimpeachable. Further, she’s a musician who seeks out the character and spirit of each theme and even each phrase, relishing such moments as the spicy Turkish interventions that give the last concerto its nickname. There’s an expressive intimacy to each of her slow movements, too, and the scale of her tone is ideally suited to the music and to the orchestra.
It’s also been sensitively captured by the engineers, down to the actual texture of the strings. Balance is awlessly achieved, and the overall sound picture open and spacious.
I’d be hard pressed to choose between these versions and those of K216, 218 and 219 by Andrew Manze and The English Concert on Harmonia Mundi – though whether that promising beginning will be followed up remains to be seen, and the sound here is in any case ideal. George Hall