Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D major, Op 61; Schumann: Phantasie for violin and orchestra in C major, Op 131; Mozart / Françaix: Nonetto

Reviewed on Thu 23 Jun, 2016

Schumann’s Phantasie is arguably a more successful concertante work than his concerto. The ensemble feels fuller here, and Bohren more comfortable in the melodic lines.

The young Swiss violinist Sebastian Bohren gives a distinctive reading of the Beethoven Violin Concerto. He is expressive, but not overly opulent, with disciplined phrasing and a clear sense of direction. But his sound is thin, especially in the upper register, where he also has occasional intonation problems. CHAARTS Chamber Artists are made up of former members of the Mahler Youth Orchestra. The group is small, meaning details are clear, but the ensemble lacks weight. Good timpani sound though, reinforcing the otherwise weak bass. The two substantial fillers are more interesting. Schumann’s Phantasie is arguably a more successful concertante work than his concerto. The ensemble feels fuller here, and Bohren more comfortable in the melodic lines. Jean Françaix’s arrangement of Mozart’s Piano Quintet involves moving the piano part to a string ensemble. But the winds remain as prominent as ever, and play with satisfying tone and presence throughout this final work.
–Gavin Dixon