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Mozart: Violin Concertos No 2 & 4, Etc / Maxim Vengerov, Et Al


Release Date: 04/03/2007 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 78374   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Lawrence PowerMaxim Vengerov
Conductor:  Maxim Vengerov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  UBS Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



MOZART Sinfonia concertante in E?, K 364. Violin Concertos: No. 4 in D; No. 2 in D Maxim Vengerov (vn), cond; Lawrence Power (va); UBS Verbier Festival CO EMI 78374 (78:52)


Julian Haylock’s notes describe Maxim Vengerov’s attempt throughout a year of rest from touring to explore and record Mozart’s concertos. His goal of reconstituting the original “flavor” of the works, of viewing them from the “perspective” of the operas, might explain the Read more dramatic way in which he opens the Sinfonia concertante; he explicitly states that he wanted the solo parts to emerge from the orchestral ones and therefore tried to effect an almost “imperceptible” transition from the tutti to the opening solos. Whatever operatic feeling the works may have acquired through this process, the solo instruments in the Sinfonia remain within the orchestral sound—the engineers certainly haven’t brought them forward—but for their part, the soloists engage in chamber-like dialogue, not only in the intimate second movement but in the opening one (and especially in its cadenza) as well. He and Lawrence Power seem to achieve this conversation, sighingly poignant in the slow movement, at the expense of foreword motion (although the finale’s lively enough)—Vengerov’s conception of Mozart seems to hail from a different universe from Isaac Stern’s early recording of the Third Concerto and from that of stylish period instrumentalists or modern instrumentalists following their lead (like Viktoria Mullova, on Philips 470292, Fanfare 26: 5). If other violinists have represented Mozart’s brash, boyish side, Vengerov has found in him a sort of nostalgic holdover from the northern empfindsamer Stil.


The Fourth Concerto begins more sedately than it does in many readings; but the soloist’s entry comes with all the fanfare its trumpet-like motive implies. Vengerov’s passagework adds sparkle to this more somber approach. And Vengerov’s cadenza goes exploring far afield from Mozart’s own melodic and harmonic style. Vengerov addresses this seeming anomaly in Haylock’s notes: his more complex writing in the cadenzas supposedly embodies his complex reactions to Mozart’s music. The slow movement’s melancholy songfulness provides ideal opportunities for Vengerov to linger. The courtly finale sounds elegant, and so does the first movement of the Second Concerto; in both, however, Vengerov takes—or creates—time to indulge in a tear of sensibility. Can this be the slashing Vengerov of the celebrated, adrenaline-laced early recordings of Shostakovich’s violin concertos? If it’s really the same violinist, his year of exploring Mozart must have worked a profound transforming effect. The slow movement of the Second Concerto represents perhaps the most suitable stage for Vengerov’s magic show, and his reading of it delves into its layers of elegant sentiment. Like the Fourth Concerto’s finale, the Second’s fares well in Vengerov’s reading.


I remember a review generations ago of Szymon Goldberg playing Mozart that described his approach as “walking on eggs.” Vengerov’s might more fittingly be characterized as walking on meringue. There’s no gainsaying his musicianship or technical aplomb (still evident in the virtuosic moments of the cadenzas), nor the ensemble’s robust solidity, but Vengerov’s interior way with Mozart may not strike a sympathetic chord in all audiences. Recommended principally (and almost exclusively) to those, therefore, who, appalled by Tom Hulce’s portrayal of the composer, seek a kinder, gentler Mozart.


FANFARE: Robert Maxham
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sinfonia concertante for Violin and Viola in E flat major, K 364 (320d) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Lawrence Power (Viola), Maxim Vengerov (Violin)
Conductor:  Maxim Vengerov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  UBS Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1779; Salzburg, Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/2006 
Venue:  Metropole Hall, Lausanne, Switzerland 
Length: 31 Minutes 59 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for Violin no 4 in D major, K 218 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Maxim Vengerov (Violin)
Conductor:  Maxim Vengerov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  UBS Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1775 
Date of Recording: 08/2007 
Venue:  Metropole Hall, Lausanne, Switzerland 
Length: 24 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Notes: Maxim Vengerov performs his own cadenzas. 
3.
Concerto for Violin no 2 in D major, K 211 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Maxim Vengerov (Violin)
Conductor:  Maxim Vengerov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  UBS Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1775; Salzburg, Austria 
Date of Recording: 02/2006 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 21 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Notes: Maxim Vengerov performs his own cadenzas. 

Sound Samples

Sinfonia concertante in E flat for violin and viola K364/320d: I. Allegro maestoso
Sinfonia concertante in E flat for violin and viola K364/320d: II. Andante
Sinfonia concertante in E flat for violin and viola K364/320d: III. Presto
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 4 in D K218: I. Allegro
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 4 in D K218: II. Andante cantabile
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 4 in D K218: III. Rondeau (Andante grazioso - Allegro ma non troppo)
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 2 in D K211: I. Allegro moderato
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 2 in D K211: II. Andante
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 2 in D K211: III. Rondeau - Allegro

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