Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E minor
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D minor
Overture - The Fair Melussina
Mayumi Seiler, violin
City of London Sinfonia
Richard Hickox, conductor
No recording dates given
BLACK BOX BBM3005
Always read the small print. One wouldn't necessarily realise it from Black
Box's documentation but Mayumi Seiler's performances are reissues of her
Virgin Classics recordings and they are still available in the catalogue.
There are, on VBD5615042, both these concertos, the Beethoven and the two
Haydn concertos, the ones in G and A.
In a hugely competitive market a newcomer's virtues must be obvious and
indisputable. Seiler is an attractive player; her tone is silvery and she
brings to the opening of the E minor a metrical flexibility which announces
a performance of sensitivity and conviction. She is alert to dynamics, varying
her tone and employing true pianissimi which never sound - as they all too
often can - affected and self-regarding. She has a real chamber music instinct
for musical give-and-take. I find the woodwind contributions in the first
movement unnaturally spotlit. However that is, I suspect, the engineer's
responsibility. There is also rather too much reverberation for optimum clarity
of articulation. Nevertheless this is an engaging performance.
As befits a chamber music player of distinction -she studied with Sandor
Vegh, and has played with the Nash and Schubert Ensembles - she is alert
to the rather generic brio of the 1822 D minor concerto. She is not the most
tonally opulent of players but is discerning and the conjunction of these
two concertos is of rather more value than the endless Mendelssohn and Bruch
discs which are so unavoidably popular. Hickox's pendant - an overture to
finish the disc - is a solid, un-Beechamesque traversal of The Fair Melussina.
Black Box's disc can be played in the CD drive of a PC, taking one to a website
with composer and soloist profiles and links to other sites. I have to say
that when I tried it I didn't get very far but that may be teething troubles.