The young Dutch violinist Noa Wildschut has been described as “a miracle of musicality”, while Anne-Sophie Mutter has singled her out as “undoubtedly one of the musical hopes of her generation”. For her debut as a Warner Classics recording artist, Noa has chosen a programme of Mozart that combines concertante and chamber works.
The young Dutch violinist Noa Wildschut has been described as “a miracle of musicality”, while Anne-Sophie Mutter has singled her out as “undoubtedly one of the musical hopes of her generation”. For her debut as a Warner Classics recording artist, Noa has chosen a programme of Mozart that combines concertante and chamber works. As she says: “I’m showing two sides of Mozart – and also two sides of myself.” Noa Wildschut, the young Dutch violinist, turned 16 in March 2017, but was just 15 when she signed an exclusive agreement with Warner Classics and recorded her debut album for the label.
This new release highlights some of Mozart’s lesser-known works, all for string trio: the Divertimento in E flat major, KV 563 and two of the Fugues with slow Preludes from the set of six, KV 404a (after Bach). The Divertimento, KV 563 is not only Mozart’s sole large-scale composition for string trio, it is also one of the first works ever written for the combination of violin, viola, and cello. It was composed in 1788, the same year as three of Mozart’s greatest and best-known works, the symphonies in E flat, G minor, and C (the ‘Jupiter’). Mozart was at the absolute height of his powers as a composer, and at the premiere of the divertimento in Dresden in 1789, he himself played the viola part.
Authentic and authoritative, these 1985 recordings of Mozart and Beethoven's quintets for piano and winds have almost everything going for them. Performing on a pianoforte modeled on a 1790 Viennese instrument, Jos van Immerseel is an adroit player, while the quartet drawn from the period instrument wind band Octophoros – Paul Dombrecht on oboe, Elmar Schmid on clarinet, Piet Dombrecht on horn, and Danny Bond on bassoon – are likewise all skillful instrumentalists. But while their playing is beyond contention – listen to their keen balances, their smooth ensemble, their unified rhythms – their interpretations miss the one thing that defines these works: their sense of fun..
This set of recordings from the vaults of the Decca and Philips labels has an advantage over other samplers of the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in that it gives listeners complete multimovement works, not just a single movement or an excerpt of a movement. On the other hand, because of this, the number of works presented is by necessity much smaller than other compilations. Rest assured, though, that the producers selected the best of the best of Mozart's compositions. The symphonies are represented by No. 40 and No. 41 on the first disc of the set, with Georg Solti conducting the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
While only the faithful are likely to try this 17-disc set of violinist David Oistrakh's complete recordings for EMI, they will no doubt fall all over themselves in their rush to get it. How could they not? It contains all the recordings the great Soviet violinist made for EMI: his 1958 and 1969 recordings of Beethoven's Triple Concerto, his 1954 and 1958 recordings of the same composer's violin concerto, his 1956 and 1969 recordings of Brahms' Double Concerto, his 1960 and 1969 recordings of the same composer's violin concerto plus recordings of concertos and sonatas by composers running the gamut from Mozart to Shostakovich.
This symphony probably may not have changed musical history from the moment it was first written, in Salzburg in early 1774 by the 18-year-old Mozart. But it crystallises the young man’s emerging compositional self-confidence, and that shows him spreading his wings in symphonic music just as he had already started to do in the opera house and in his chamber music.