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Mozart: Violin Concertos 1, 2 & 5 / Monica Huggett


Release Date: 08/20/2007 
Label:  Virgin Classics Special Import Catalog #: 45010   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Monica Huggett
Conductor:  Monica Huggett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

These fresh, appealing performances stand up well in an awesomely crowded field. With her gut-strung Amati, Monica Huggett does not, of course, rival modern-instrument virtuosos like Grumiaux, Szeryng and Perlman in brilliance and dynamic range. But these concertos gain much from her sweet, slender tone, her light, buoyant articulation and her beautiful control of colour in piano dynamics. The passagework in the opening movements of the first two concertos can often seem tedious in high-powered traditional performances; but the lighter period bow and Huggett's deft touches of timing and shading invariably lend wit and point to Mozart's sequences of triplets and semiquavers. The finales of both these concertos are delightfully lithe and Read more airy, while the closing minuet of No. 5 is unusually delicate—though there is plenty of gusto in the A minor 'Turkish' episode (from 3'59''). In the three slow movements other performances may be more overtly expressive, freer with rubato; but Huggett's purity and poise, her subtle graduations of vibrato and her gentle eloquence of phrase are very persuasive. At one or two points I thought her line over-inflected with dynamic nuances: in her first entry in No. 1's Adagio, for example (1'08''), she crescendos into each of the longer notes, with slightly fussy effect. Here and occasionally elsewhere I would have preferred a broader, simpler line.

These new performances share with the rival period readings from Simon Standage (available on a L'Oiseau-Lyre two-disc set of all five concertos) a keen feeling for the music's dance rhythms and a sure sense of style in cadenzas (aptly brief) and ornamentation. The orchestral contribution in both versions, too, is crisp, transparent and nicely detailed. Standage is generally the more assertive player, brighter of tone, sharper of attack. A movement like the opening Allegro aperto of No. 5 is rather more consciously projected from Standage; Huggett, at a slower tempo, is more intimate and understated, with a more refined tonal palette—I especially liked her veiled timbre at the first solo entry (1'20''). The final minuet of the same concerto brings a similar contrast between the two players; and if Standage tends to draw a longer legato line in the slow movements, his playing here, particularly in K219, can seem a shade unvaried, lacking Huggett's tenderness and imagination. Huggett, too, has the edge in purity of intonation. I should certainly not want to be without Standage's more eager, extrovert performances. But forced to choose one period version of these three concertos my vote would now go to Huggett, captured in clear, warm sound, with a natural balance between soloist and orchestra.

-- Richard Wigmore, Gramophone [9/1994]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Violin no 1 in B flat major, K 207 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Monica Huggett (Violin)
Conductor:  Monica Huggett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Classical 
Written: 1775; Salzburg, Austria 
Date of Recording: 03/1991 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 20 Minutes 12 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for Violin no 2 in D major, K 211 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Monica Huggett (Violin)
Conductor:  Monica Huggett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Period: Classical 
Written: 1775; Salzburg, Austria 
Date of Recording: 03/1991 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 19 Minutes 9 Secs. 
3.
Concerto for Violin no 5 in A major, K 219 "Turkish" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Monica Huggett (Violin)
Conductor:  Monica Huggett
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Written: 1775 
Date of Recording: 03/1991 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 27 Minutes 27 Secs. 

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