Hardly a month goes
by without another new release from
the young German violinist Julia Fischer
– or so it seems. Now here’s another,
in Pentatone’s multichannel hybrid SACD
series, that promotes Fischer as a Mozartian
after having impressed most sane auditors
with her Russian repertoire recently.
She plays the two concertos to which
I’m most partial, those in G and D and
adds the Adagio and the Rondo for violin
and orchestra to bring the disc up to
a respectable hour in length – though
I’d like to have heard something more;
has she ever joined with Tabea Zimmerman
in the Sinfonia Concertante I wonder?
Let’s not get bogged
down with what we don’t have. These
are crisply aerated and flexible performances.
With Kreizberg at the helm of the Netherlands
Chamber Orchestra the orchestral sound
world is strong on textual clarity and
string choir separation; a chamber perspective
that renounces big boned romanticism
in favour of mobility and lighter textures.
The winds are especially characterful
in the opening of the concerto in G
where Fischer displays some of her wide
range of subtly deployed tonal colours
and also one or two personalised approaches
to rhythm. She plays a wide range of
cadenzas, another notable feature of
her approach; her own in the opening
movement of the Concerto in G, Kreizberg’s
in the slow movement and the Sam Franko
in the finale, with small emendations
by Fischer. In the Fourth Concerto she
plays two of her own cadenzas and employs
the Joachim for the finale. The horns
seem just a shade over prominent throughout,
not least in the slow movement, though
this may be a feature of the surround
sound perspective, and the slow movement
pizzicati sound a touch heavy as well;
I’m not so keen on one or two rather
mannered lurches from Fischer either.
But I enjoyed the echo effects in the
finale – these are brought out very
attractively, and she rips into her
cadential passages with great aplomb.
The Fourth Concerto
garners an attractive reading. Clarity
fuses with warmth though once more the
slow movement sounds a tad emphatically
phrased with respect to instrumental
pointing and dynamics. The finale is
etched with a certain smiling swagger
and Fischer ensures that tonal shading
is always musically deployed. It’s a
most enjoyable reading – overwhelmingly
unmannered, a touch cool, but sympathetic.
The makeweights are equally satisfactory;
I was particularly taken by the warm
and supportive cushion Kreizberg provides
in the Adagio.
difficult because this is a SACD (but
playable on CD players)and because of
the choice of these two particular concertos.
I welcome her playing though it doesn’t
efface primary recommendations in this
repertoire (Grumiaux, Szeryng, et al).
But I’d like to hear K364 with Fischer