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These three innovative concertos - composed in the last four months of 1775 to entertain Mozart's noble employer and to mollify his father Leopold - show Wolfgang the wunderkind blossoming into a fully-fledged compositional genius. Andrew Manze plays his own cadenzas.
Mozart: Violin Concerto #3 In G, K 216 - 1. Allegro
Mozart: Violin Concerto #3 In G, K 216 - 2. Adagio
Mozart: Violin Concerto #3 In G, K 216 - 3. Rondeau: Allegro
Mozart: Violin Concerto #4 In D, K 218 - 1. Allegro
Mozart: Violin Concerto #4 In D, K 218 - 2. Andante Cantabile
Mozart: Violin Concerto #4 In D, K 218 - 3. Rondo: Andante Gracioso
Mozart: Violin Concerto #5 In A, K 219, "Turkish" - 1. Allegro Aperto
Mozart: Violin Concerto #5 In A, K 219, "Turkish" - 2. Adagio
Mozart: Violin Concerto #5 In A, K 219, "Turkish" - 3. Rondeau: Tempo Di Menuetto
“…spontaneity shines through the thoughtful preparation, especially in Manze's cadenzas, which are perfectly judged stylistically, and where every note counts. And the different characters of each of the episodes in the rondo finales, with their changes of tempo and mood, are sharply caught. A wonderful contribution to Mozart Year.”
27th January 2006
“the romantic varnish we're so used to hearing is stripped away to reveal the original glowing more brightly, communicating with more immediacy. It's as though we've been being held at arm's length, and now suddenly Mozart reaches out and embraces us...I've never heard the so-called Turkish finale of the A major Concerto played with such an irresistibly earthy passion”
“Andrew Manze's vivid notes stress the 19-year-old composer's delight in the novel, the unexpected. He points out that 'these concertos verge on the operatic' and, true to his word, gives performances that for inventiveness, impish fun and close, conspiratorial rapport between soloist and orchestra have never been bettered. First movements combine swagger, elegance and exceptional delicacy of touch, with the semiquaver passagework imaginatively, often playfully, inflected. Hair-shirt authenticists may object to Manze's fondness for stretching a phrase here, teasing out a cadence there. To me, his rubato always sounds natural and spontaneous. In the slow movements he strikes a fine balance between vernal innocence and sensuous yearning, drawing a wonderfully eloquent cantabile line and warming his pure, silvery tone with a discreet and subtle use of vibrato. Monica Huggett on her fine Virgin Classics set is coolly gracious in the Adagios of K216 and 219. But Manze, with his broader tempi, wider palette of colour and more supple phrasing, finds more expressive depth. Typically he can make you think afresh about the music. In the recapitulation of K219's Adagio, for instance, the music momentarily dips from E major to E minor (6'35"). Most performers either fail to register this, or introduce a more veiled, withdrawn colour. Manze, strikingly and effectively, does the opposite, making the turn to the minor a cue for a sudden passionate intensification of tone, briefly disturbing the rapt, Arcadian idyll. And has the soloist's wistful envoi in K218 – a simple rising and falling scale that Mozart added as an afterthought – ever been as magically hushed as here? Manze has plenty of fun with the finales, relishing the contrasts between courtly decorum and the more rustic episodes. His harsh, earthy tones in the 'Strassburger' folk tune in K216 (at 4'01") create a strong whiff of the Hungarian puszta; and he tears with manic glee into the wild 'Turkish' episodes of K219, all the more startling after the guileless grace of the minuet. Other delights include Manze's witty, sometimes slightly zany 'lead-ins', which always sound joyously improvised (and probably were), and his brief, stylistically apt cadenzas. Huggett's fresh, buoyant performances have long been the prime period-instrument recommendation. But the palm now goes to Manze, in symbiotic partnership with the superb English Concert and beautifully recorded by Harmonia Mundi.”
“Andrew Manze… gives performances that for inventiveness, impish fun and close, conspiratorial rapport between soloist and orchestral have never been bettered. Huggett's fresh, buoyant performances have long been the prime period-instrument recommendation. But the palm now goes to Manze, in symbiotic partnership with the superb English Concert and beautifully recorded by Harmonia Mundi.”
The Independent on Sunday
“Andrew Manze has never played better than in this gorgeous recording.”
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