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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Works for Violins and Orchestra – Julia Fischer, Gordan Nikolic, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Yakov Kreizberg (2007) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Works for Violins and Orchestra – Julia Fischer, Gordan Nikolic, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Yakov Kreizberg (2007)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 01:03:35 minutes | 1,16 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: pentatonemusic.com |  © PentaTone Classics
Recorded: 2006

German violinist Julia Fischer, 24 years old when this recording was released, is surely a bright new star, all charisma as her diminutive self stands between conductor and collaborator Yakov Kreizberg and violist Gordan Nikolic on the cover of this disc. She has a steely technique that she brings to Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E flat, K. 364 — not a steely work, but the musicianship here is superb. Fischer and Nikolic make an attractive pair in the work, her razor-sharp tone set against his gutsier sound production, all the contrasts held together by Kreizberg’s brisk tempos and no-nonsense forward drive. There are recordings of the Sinfonia Concertante that play more directly to sentiment, but the work’s intricate architecture breathes in this interpretation. An additional bonus is the inclusion of the rarely heard Concertone in C major for two violins and orchestra, K. 190, a work that also has solo oboe and cello parts and seems to hang in the balance between the concerto and sinfonia concerante (multiple-soloist) genres. The performers bring a nice lilting quality to the first two movements, rather sprawling creations of the young Mozart that demand really compelling soloists of the sort on display here. The only complaint is over-resonant sound, the result of PentaTone’s decision to record in a Haarlem church — the wrong place for music intended for a medium-sized, crowded, well-upholstered room. It destroys the intimate scale of the performance and causes the soloists and the harpsichord continuo of the Concertone, especially, to sound a bit like they are swimming in a watery chamber. The clarity of Fischer’s playing, however, is not compromised, and it’s a real wonder. She has also recorded two of Mozart’s solo violin concertos with the same forces, but this disc in a way suggests even greater talents. –James Manheim, AllMusic

Yakov Kreizberg launches the Sinfonia concertante in emphatic style: a no-nonsense tempo, lashing sforzando accents, a powerful forward impetus. Mozart’s thrilling take on the slow-burn “Mannheim crescendo” has an almost ferocious intensity, enhanced by the recording’s wide dynamic range. Then, from their seraphic first entry, the octaves perfectly in tune, the two soloists balance fire and finesse in a true partnership of equals. So often in this work the violinist outguns the viola player in personality and technique. But not here. Gordan Nikolitch’s rich, throaty viola beautifully complements Julia Fischer’s silvery sweetness. Mozart would surely have relished their vital, gracefully finished phrasing and the way they respond creatively to each other. Rival performers, including Augustin Dtunay and Veronika Hagen (DG, 12/00), Gidon Kremer and Kim Kashkashian (DG, 12/84k) and Iona Brown and Nobuko ‘mai (Philips), are more responsive to Mozart’s maestoso marking and more flexible in their shaping of the lyrical melodies. Once or twice, as in the C minor theme at 252″, Fischer and Nikolitch can slightly gloss over the music’s pathos. But the sweep, elan and sheer technical aplomb of their playing are certainly compelling.
Again, Fischer and Nikolitch use rubato sparingly in the C minor Andante, a transfigured love duet triste. Abetted by Kreizberg, they focus on the longer line, phrasing in broad, eloquent paragraphs and catching more than most an underlying agitation. The finale mingles grace and athletic exuberance, with the players vying delightedly in their bouts of bravura. Though the recording, made in a large church, is a tad boomy, this ranks high among modern recordings of this inexhaustible masterpiece. As light relief, we also get Fischer’s puckish reading of the Rondo, K373, and a sprightly, occasionally (in the finale) impetuous performance of the innocuously charming Concertone, K190, where oboist Hans Meyer fully matches his violinist accomplices in wit and flair. –Richard Wigmore, Gramophone

Tracklist:
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791)
Sinfonia concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra in E flat, K. 364
1 Allegro maestoso 12.32
2 Andante 11.11
3 Presto 6.13
Rondo for Violin and Orchestra in C, K. 373
4 Allegretto grazioso 5.58
Concertone for 2 Violins and Orchestra in C, K. 190
5 Allegro spiritoso 8.23
6 Andantino grazioso 10.41
7 Tempo di menuetto (Vivace) 8.23

Personnel:
Julia Fischer- violin
Gordan Nikolić- violin (K. 190) / viola (K. 364)
Hans Meyer- oboe (K. 190)
Herre Jan Stegenga- cello (K. 190)
Netherlands Chamber Orchestra
conducted by: Yakov Kreizberg

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