Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. Born in Salzburg, he showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. At 17, Mozart was engaged as a musician at the Salzburg court, but grew restless and traveled in search of a better position…
For her first collaboration with the period ensemble Il Giardino Armonico, violinist Isabelle Faust performs the five Violin Concertos of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, along with three shorter concertante works. This is an extraordinary set, for the historically informed performances, the polished sound of the group, the almost palpable presence of the players, which Harmonia Mundi has captured with superior engineering, and for the unrepressed joy in the music. Faust is the center of attention, naturally, and her refined and expressive playing immediately pulls the listener in. These are far from the most demanding concertos in the repertoire, so Faust is less concerned with technical execution than with conveying the pure feeling of the music, which is delightfully buoyant and uplifting. Under the direction of Giovanni Antonini, the group provides warm and sparkling accompaniment that gives Faust all the support she needs, but there's no doubt that she sets the emotional tone for these exquisite recordings. Highly recommended, especially for devotees of Classical style at its finest.
In these thrilling concert films, Anne-Sophie Mutter plays and directs all five of Mozart's Violin Concertos. "Mutter's approach is full of expressive detail, her tempos bringing warmth to the slow movements … urgent speeds in outer movements … technically immaculate" (The Strad).
Filmed in Vienna's Grosser Musikvereinssaal in the early 1980s, this fabled rendering of Mozart's complete violin concertos appears on DVD for the first time. Premier violinist Gidon Kremer unites with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Wiener Philharmoniker in a tribute to the musical genius Harnoncourt deems "the most Romantic composer of all".