Mozart: Violin Concerto in G, K216; Violin Concerto in D, K218; Violin Concerto in A, K219

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Mozart
LABELS: DG
WORKS: Violin Concerto in G, K216; Violin Concerto in D, K218; Violin Concerto in A, K219
PERFORMER: Augustin Dumay (violin)Camerata Academica Salzburg
CATALOGUE NO: 457 645-2
Augustin Dumay’s performances of these Mozart violin concertos are bursting with vitality, his supreme technical command matched by his elegant stylistic approach. A former pupil of Arthur Grumiaux, he achieves the same singing optimism as his mentor, but errs further on the side of restraint, occasionally minimising his vibrato to allow for greater contrast. In the Concerto in G, K216, his virtuosity is unquestionable, particularly evident in his meticulous yet vivid reading of Ysaÿe’s rippling cadenza in the Allegro. The Adagio does not have the tenderness of Grumiaux’s account, but Dumay’s air of refinement and control in its singing phrases is eminently expressive, while the final Rondeau: Allegro is played with consummate poise.

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The dizzy heights of the opening Allegro of the Concerto in D, K218, are particularly impressive, Dumay displaying a wonderfully clear, ringing tone. The Concerto in A, K219, is equally fine: lithe and full of character. Dumay languishes pleasantly in the melting Adagio episode of the opening, and traverses the Allegro aperto with dazzling finesse. The Adagio is understated, yet supremely beautiful, while the finale is nothing short of riotous, Dumay whooping over the ‘Turkish’ melody as the Camerata Academica Salzburg lends a dancing, percussive edge to the accompaniment; although the mood melts as suddenly with Dumay’s delicate final reprise of the minuet theme.

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The Camerata, directed from the bow by Dumay, gives fine support throughout; its ensemble sounds warm and polished, with real muscular incisiveness. The only complaint is that the violin sometimes disappears at the ends of its softest phrases, but otherwise Dumay’s performances are easily as fine as Grumiaux’s in their eloquence, vivacity and exquisite purity of tone. Catherine Nelson