Mozart: Violin Concertos – No 1 in B flat major, K207; No 2 in D major, K211; No 3 in G major, K216; No 4 in D major, K218; No 5 in A major, K219; Adagio in E major, K261; Rondos – in B flat major, K269; in C major, K373

Reviewed on Fri 02 Dec, 2016

Giovanni Antonini shows a keen regard for the Mozartian ethos as perceived through modern thought and feeling – keenly echoed by Isabelle Faust, expressively responsive to microscopic rubatos within a contoured, elastically phrased line.

Youthful works mainly written between the ages of 17 and 20, but of a maturity that belies those years. Isabelle Faust and Giovanni Antonini are alive to their changing characters, sensing a spirit both impetuous and profound. The first movement exposition of K207 encourages expectations. Violins are antiphonally separated, all instruments are balanced to a nicety, horns play at written pitch (as they do throughout); and Antonini shows a keen regard for the Mozartian ethos as perceived through modern thought and feeling – keenly echoed by Faust, expressively responsive to microscopic rubatos within a contoured, elastically phrased line. A telling example is the Andante cantabile of K218, affected and lyrical even in the Rococo motifs between 1’44”/2’12” and 3’37”/4’04”. This set, with Andreas Staier’s cadenzas apposite in style yet never descending into pastiche, offers a richly emotional experience. But also remember Giuliano Carmignola/Claudio Abbado (DG) and Richard Tognetti/Australian Chamber Orchestra (BIS).
–Nalen Anthoni