We are on record at Ionarts as rather fond of Julia Fischer's Mozart. Her full-bodied set of Mozart concerti was appropriately scaled, not too historically informed to raise objections with most listeners. In this third volume, she collaborates again with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and conductor Yakov Kreizberg, adding in Gordan Nikolić to play second fiddle, literally, on the second violin part in the Concertone (K. 190) and viola in the Sinfonia concertante (K. 364). While Fischer, Gramophone's 2007 Artist of the Year, is as cool and polished as ever, the contributions of Nikolić and the NCO seem a little rough and not unified. These are such familiar pieces -- especially K. 364, which has been recorded commercially hundreds of times -- that one wishes for something a little less conventional. The plainness sometimes had me reaching for a version more off the beaten path instead, like the Sinfonia concertante in Harnoncourt's brash recording with Gidon Kremer and Kim Kashkashian or the recent recording by Anne-Sophie Mutter and Yuri Bashmet. Not coincidentally, both feature full-time violists on the second part.
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Mozart, Concertone, Sinfonia concertante, J. Fischer, G. Nikolić, NCO, Y. Kreizberg (released October 30, 2007) [$17.99]
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Mozart, Sinfonia concertante, K. 364, Julia Fischer and Gordan Nikolić,
Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Yakov Kreizberg (see Part 2)
While the tempi of the second and third movements of the Sinfonia concertante are roughly comparable to generally selected conventions, the first movement is on the fast side of Allegro maestoso, ending up with about a minute shaved off even from Harnoncourt's timing. This produces some excitement by making it impossible to predict what is going to happen with the ensemble, but the overall effect after a couple listenings is mostly just agitation. Fischer is radiant in the short but sweet Rondo for Violin and Orchestra, K. 373, complete with her own reserved cadenza. Nikolić is a stronger foil for her in the K. 190 Concertone, with lovely support from oboist Hans Meyer and cellist Herre Jan Stegenga. A worthy recording, if not essential: if you liked her two volumes of Mozart concerti (and you should), you will need this disc to complete the set.
Pentatone PTC 5186 098
Bach, Sonatas / Partitas
Glazunov, Khachaturian, Prokofiev, Violin Concertos
Mozart, Violin Concertos 1,2&5
Mozart, Violin Concertos 3&4
Tchaikovsky, Violin Concerto
2 minutes ago