Mozart: Violin Concertos K207, 211 & 218

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COMPOSERS: Mozart
LABELS: Philips
WORKS: Violin Concertos K207, 211 & 218
PERFORMER: Isabelle Van Keulen (violin); Concertgebouw CO
CATALOGUE NO: 432 100-2 DDD
This disc features magnificent playing by Isabelle Van Keulen, who seems to be conducting the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra (at least, no conductor is named) – naturally, on modern instruments. It seems to me that the tempi are ideally chosen and the whole is very stylish – and even the cadenzas (by Isabelle Van Keulen, Joseph Joachim and the Dutch scholar Marius Flothuis) are bearable. The notes contain three different essays in four languages by Julian Haylock, Uwe Kraemer and the doyen of French Mozartians, Jean-Victor Hocquard (Haylock also in Italian) – all three excellent and Hocquard’s, as always, a model of elegant French prose. The record contains three of the authentic five violin concertos, including K207, always treated like a step-daughter but, like everything Mozart wrote, delicious.

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If you like your Mozart violin concertos on modern instruments, you could not do better than this delightful record. If you want period instruments, there is an attractive set of K207, 211, 216, 218 and 219 – all five genuine works, that is – issued last year on Oiseau-Lyre by Simon Standage, conducted by Christopher Hogwood. HC Robbins Landon