W. A. Mozart
The Violin Concertos
Sinfonia concertante in E flat, K 364
Adagio – Rondo – Concertone
Netherlands Chamber Orchestra
Yakov Kreizberg, conductor
Pentatone Classics, 2011
This recording of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s violin concertos aroused in me ambivalent feelings – and, to make matters worse, these irreconcilable opinions coexist, as it happens in a real matter of conscience. On the one hand, I was enthusiast of Julia Fischer: she shows here her usual virtuosity accompanied by a brilliant and intense interpretation and many times during the listening of the three CDs which form this set, I thought: «How wonderful! How beautiful!» and I was really impressed by her technique… But, on the other hand, not a minute passed before I began to think completely different things and to realize that, beyond Fischer’s taste and inspiration, there were not many “new ideas”.
This perplexed me, but, when I realized that the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra directed by Yakov Kreizberg followed Fischer’s path, a new thought crossed my mind.
I believe that the purpose of this recording is not to find a new approach to Mozart’s violin concertos, but to reinterpret the old, most common way to perform them. I am not sure this was the original intention of this recording, but this explains its lack of originality. I honestly cannot think of Julia Fischer playing Mozart without giving him some new colour if not for some reason of this kind, especially since her comprehension of Mozart and of his witty and melancholic style is perfect and she can perform the concertos with grace and skill. Listen for example to the enchanting violin cadenza in the first movement of the Concert K 207 or to the vivacious Rondo K 373 just to have an idea of how well she suits this repertoire. Moreover, her understanding with Yakov Kreizberg with the orchestra is perfect, independently of what you may think of the result.
It is not Julia Fischer or Yakov Kreizberg the real problem of this album and it is easy to enjoy both of them. It is more difficult for me to tolerate the sound of the recording because it is too much vivid and the strings are sometimes to the point of cracking. This is the real damage and limit of Violin Concertos.