One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider


paid for


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Buy through MusicWeb for £18.75 postage paid.

Musicweb Purchase button

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major K216 (1775) [21:10]
Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola in E flat major K364 (1779) [29:51]
Adagio in E major K261 (1776) [6:03]
Rondo in C major K373 (1781) [5:10]
Duo for violin and viola No.1 in G major K423 (1783) [18:56]
Duo for violin and viola No.2 in B flat major K424 (1783) [21:40]
Philippe Graffin (violin)
Nobuko Imai (viola)
Brabant Philharmonic Orchestra/Philippe Graffin
rec. Eindhoven, 26, 27, 29 June 2006 (concertos); Deventer, 22-23 June 2006 (duos)
AVIE AV 2127 [62:47 + 40:45]

I recently reviewed the high profile recording of K364 made by Maxim Vengerov and Laurence Power and have to say I much prefer this Graffin-Imai traversal. Itís more natural in expression, lacks idiosyncratic quirks, and goes deeper. The acoustic is rather too boomy for my liking but there are numerous felicities that compensate. Thereís a slightly military snap to things and the Mannheim crescendos have a real swagger about them. Then there are the horns of the Brabant Philharmonic, which are on particularly engaging form. Most prominent of course is the tonal congruity between the soloists, which lends the slow movement a sense of refined gravity. The finale is finely judged and not at all declamatory. Thereís a particularly relishable legato sweep to the phrasing here that compels admiration. So too is the way Graffin, soloist and director, refuses to indulge metrical or other worrisome features.

He is the soloist and director once more in the G major concerto. The robust and resonant acoustic is again not quite to my liking but it actually rather suits the nature of the performance. Graffin has a small, sweet and concentrated tone capable of refined colour and he projects sympathetically. Itís particularly good to see that he has arranged Ysaÿeís first movement cadenzas here Ė itís seldom played and well worth hearing once in a while, if not all the time. The other cadenzas are by Graffin. The warm string moulding in the slow movement is admirable and Graffin is able to imbue the orchestral fabric generally with considerable feeling. I would question some rather distended first movement phrasing and the fact that the finale can sound, in part, just a little rushed. Both the Adagio and Rondo, so difficult to programme in concert but perfect on disc, are splendidly dispatched Ė and with thoughtful perception as well as fine tone.

The second disc lasts only forty minutes but is devoted to the two magnificent duos. Here we hear the two soloists at their most fluent and expressive. Imai has the potential to over-balance Graffin but her rich tone is a joy to hear; fortunately the balance remains true. Both musicians balance the extrovert and interior aspects of these big works remarkably well. Those with long memories will recall the Grumiaux and Pelliccia recording Ė as they will indeed their Sinfonia Concertante with Colin Davis.

These are enjoyable performances Ė not spotless itís true but nevertheless engaging and often vibrant. The programming is suitably novel and idiosyncratic to render rival versions pretty meaningless, so if you admire the two string players you will find nourishment in their Mozart playing.

Jonathan Woolf


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3


Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.