Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor; Violin Concerto in D minor

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2.0 out of 5 star rating 2.0

COMPOSERS: Mendelssohn
LABELS: RCA Victor Red Seal
WORKS: Violin Concerto in E minor; Violin Concerto in D minor
PERFORMER: Kyoko Takezawa (violin)Bamberg SO/Claus Peter Flor
CATALOGUE NO: 09026 62512 2 DDD
Though her technique is undeniably fluent and her tone delicate in the slower passages, Kyoko Takezawa gives a generally superficial account of the late E minor piece, with little sense of the urgency or insecurity – alienation almost – that haunt the first movement of this most lucid and immediate of the great 19th-century violin concertos. Her cadenza in particular sounds curiously unmotivated.


In the slow movement she goes through the motions without plumbing any emotional depths, and though her playing in the buoyant finale is cleanly articulated there is again some want of character.

The ‘other’ Mendelssohn concerto, for violin and strings, is an early work, an expression of teenage Sturm und Drang written when Felix was 13 but not published until Yehudi Menuhin purchased the score in 1952. The pseudo-gypsy finale is attractive, but as a whole the work speaks of talent rather than the genius manifest in the Octet composed just three years later.


Claus Peter Flor proves a competent if at times unassertive accompanist. The recording is muted, with not enough depth or definition. George Hall