Beethoven, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Mullova, Gardiner [Blu-ray Audio]

Release Date: 3/25/2014
Label: Decca
Catalog Number: B002009846
Performer: Viktoria Mullova
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

Blu-ray
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Notes and Editorial Reviews
This is an audio-only (i.e., with no video content) Blu-ray disc playable only on Blu-ray players.

It is also available on standard CD.

"Interesting this, on a number of counts. Viktoria Mullova brings quite different qualities to bear on both works, chaste and unruffled in Beethoven, more demonstrably romantic in Mendelssohn, her vibrato marginally more intense and with subtly negotiated slides. Sir John Eliot Gardiner is an attentive collaborator who in Beethoven's first movement points up contrasts between a flowing legato and the forceful stamping of the timpani-inspired main idea, and lends added animation to various scale-like ascending passages.

Ottavio Dantone provides flamboyant cadenzas, and the sum effect is of a considered, breathing encounter between the epic and the intimate, the full tutti tower blocks spasmodically dominating an otherwise serene landscape.

In Mendelssohn's Concerto much thought has gone into fashioning the finale, taken at a leisurely tempo and with the orchestra audibly appropriating and distributing elements of the soloist's opening phrase. Few performances make such a gripping feature of the movement's dialogue element and Mullova again bows a bright, mercurial solo line. Gardiner takes Mendelssohn at his word in stressing the first movement's Allegro molto appassianato, not by pushing the tempo (which he never does) but by applying precisely the right degree of weight and pressure to key tutti - much aided, incidentally, by the lowered pitch. The booklet warns us of 'alternative or original readings in [the] interpretations of both works', early scores having been consulted as guidance. Among these 'alternative' readings are a brief transposition upwards in the first movement of the Beethoven (1215"), then downwards in the first movement of the Mendelssohn (139"), and some substantially altered notation at the close, ie at 628", of Mendelssohn's second movement. Nothing too drastic but interesting if you think you know what's coming. I'm not entirely sure whether Mullova's very occasional tendency to sidestep the centre of the note is intentional. I'm thinking of T1 into Beethoven's first movement and 255" into Mendelssohn's first, minuscule deviations, but with playing that is in other respects so pristine, momentarily distracting."

-- Rob Cowan, Gramophone [9/2003] reviewing CD version
Works on This Recording
1. Concerto for Violin in E minor, Op. 64 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer: Viktoria Mullova (Violin)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1844 ; Germany
2. Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 61 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer: Viktoria Mullova (Violin)
Period: Classical
Written: 1806 ; Vienna, Austria
3. Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 61 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer: Viktoria Mullova (Violin)
Period: Classical
Written: 1806 ; Vienna, Austria
4. Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 61 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer: Viktoria Mullova (Violin)
Period: Classical
Written: 1806 ; Vienna, Austria
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