Myslivecek, Viotti, Schubert, Spohr

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3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Myslivecek,Schubert,Spohr,Viotti
LABELS: Hyperion
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Elizabeth Wallfisch
WORKS: Violin Concerto No. 4 in B flat; Violin Concerto No. 22 in A minor; Rondo in A, D438; Violin Concerto No. 8 in A minor
PERFORMER: Elizabeth Wallfisch (violin); Brandenburg Orchestra/Roy Goodman
CATALOGUE NO: CDA 66840
Here is a disc with many advantages: scarcely known but eminently worthwhile music, good performances on period instruments and no less than 78:39 minutes on the CD.

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Ever since I bought the Eulenburg miniature score, edited by none other than the eminent Mozartian Alfred Einstein, during the Second World War, I have preserved a deep affection and respect for Viotti’s Concerto No. 22 in A minor, first performed in London in February 1793 (a fact not known, apparently, by the writer of Hyperion’s notes). It is the major work on this CD, beautifully performed by Wallfisch and Goodman. Wallfisch uses, cleverly, one violin for the elegant Myslivecek, a colleague of Mozart’s, and another, with an early ‘Tourte’ bow of 1790, for the last three items. The continuo instrument follows her, moving from harpsichord to fortepiano in the Viotti and Schubert. A great deal of work has gone into preparing the scores, particularly the Myslivecek.

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I found this a very rewarding record, and for those who are not familiar with the repertoire it will prove an ideal introduction. It is worth buying if only for the Viotti, one of the late eighteenth century’s most noble compositions. HC Robbins Landon