Magazine article Gramophone

Mozart: Violin Sonatas-No 21

Magazine article Gramophone

Mozart: Violin Sonatas-No 21

Article excerpt

Mozart

Violin Sonatas--No 21, K304; No 23, K306; No 27, K379; No 28.K380

Mi-Sa Yang vn Jonas Vitaud pf

Mirare (F) MIR420 (79' * DDD)

Mi-Sa Yang and Jonas Vitaud have hopped over Mozart's childhood piano and violin sonatas and gone straight for the gold in this four-strong programme: a pair each from the 1778 (K304 and 306) and 1781 (K379 and 380) sets, published respectively in Paris and Vienna just before and just after his final resignation from Archbishop Colloredo's straitjacketing court life.

The first thing to hit your ears in the opening K379 is the delectable combination of timbres from Yang and Vitaud's modern instruments. Softly sparkling, delicately jewel-like from Vitaud, drawing all the plus points and none of the negatives of employing a modern concert grand in this repertoire. Then Yang sounding darkly stringy and lean, vibrato used sparingly.

Indeed, 'less is more' is the order of the day here. Beautifully so too, although for some it might be a little too ... little. Take the variations of K379 where, by and large, their approach to the repeats is simply to add ornamentation (and Yang's ornaments in the first half of Var 3 are really delectable). Then compare it to the subtle colouristic and articulational contrasts of Petra Miillejans and Kristian Bezuidenhout (Harmonia Mundi, 6/09), or the even more pronounced shifts--portamentos even--to be heard from Itzhak Perlman and Daniel Barenboim (DG). Likewise compare the gentle shift of mood in Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov's K304 Allegro firsthalf repeat (Harmonia Mundi, 11/18) to the pretty much verbatim one of Yang and Vitaud. …

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