Violin Concerto in G, K216
Violin Concerto in D, K218
Adagio in E, K261
Rondo in B flat, K269
Julia Fischer (violin)
Netherlands Chamber Orchestra
Recorded in April 2005 in Waalse Kirk (Église Wallon), Amsterdam
Reviewed by: Colin Anderson
Reviewed: September 2005
CD No: PENTATONE CLASSICS
Duration: 61 minutes
It is Julia Fischer’s musicianship rather than showmanship that makes any concert and recording of hers something to keenly anticipate. The composer comes first; here Mozart is invigorated and made directly appealing.
The sprightly opening of the G major concerto, with rhythmically vital lower strings, is a fine start to the disc, Fischer’s shaping and attention to detail is beyond reproach; she does nothing yet does everything and the music flows with irresistible vivacity. Her own cadenza develops the Mozart’s musical ideas rather than being a separate pedestal of self-aggrandising virtuosity. Yakov Kreizberg writes the cadenza for the Adagio to a similar end, the movement a seamless flow of heartfelt invention. And how sparkling is the finale: dancing but not without the shadow of pathos.
The D minor work is similarly crisp and meaningful, Fischer’s care and attention is much evidence, but it’s never of the smothering kind; indeed, there’s a lively spontaneity here and a soulful response that is intuitive rather than calculated. Maybe her slow-movement cadenza goes off at a tangent; maybe the finale isn’t graceful enough; but her conviction is tangible and her rapier rhythms have buoyancy.
This laudable issue is completed by an Adagio and a Rondo; the former is languidly expressive and the latter humorous and easygoing. With smart and elegant support from the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and Yakov Kreizberg this is a musically engaging and rewarding issue, one complemented by a naturally balanced recording, Fischer integrated with the orchestra – the only audiophile possibility when the soloist offers such wonderfully true, clean and perceptive turns of phrase without egotistical dominance. Volume two, please!