Magazine article Strings

Mozart Violin Concertos and Sonatas

Magazine article Strings

Mozart Violin Concertos and Sonatas

Article excerpt

MOZART VIOLIN CONCERTOS AND SONATAS. Ray Chen, violin; Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, Christoph Eschenbach cond. and piano (SonyClassical)

Two audacious cadenzas are the thing in Ray Chen's new recording of Mozart's Violin Concertos K216 and K218, and Violin Sonata K305. Playing on the ravishing 1702 "Lord Newlands" Stradivari, on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation, and clothed and styled by Giorgio Armani (right there in the CD credits), Chen gives dynamic, compelling, modern-instrument performances of the concertos with a lithe and powerful Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra conducted by Christoph Eschenbach.

Performing your own cadenzas is always a risky business, but the payoff can be high, as is the case here.

Chen's cadenzas for the first two movements, for example, are incongruously long and all over the place, but at the same time adventurous and authentically connected to the music in exhilarating ways. …

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