Mozart, the child prodigy par excellence
, was a fine
violinist and composed his first works for that instrument at the staggering
age of six. No one can doubt that these were undistinguished offerings, but
at that age what do you expect? However, roll the clock on to 1779 and the
twenty-three year old now had the maturity and experience to compose his
Sinfonia Concertante K364, a masterpiece and a work with a wealth of melodic
invention. Here is a composition that was a fusion of the Austro-German
symphony and the Italian Concerto. Mozart gives the violin and viola equal
status. Amoyal’s remarks in the notes aptly sum it up when he comments
that this is not a concerto for two instruments, but ‘a symphony in
the context of which two soloists converse with profound tenderness and
Five years earlier in 1774, Mozart had composed his Concertone in C
major, K190. This has never had the enduring popularity of K364, but is
paired with it on several recordings. I first got to know these two works on
the EMI Oistrakh version of 1972, now in the 17CD Oistrakh Complete EMI
Recordings box (50999 2 14712 2 3). Another satisfying coupling comes from
Perlman and Zukerman on DG (415 486). The Concertone could, in a sense, be
called a quadruple concerto; as well as two violins, the solo oboe and cello
The Camerata de Lausanne is a conductorless string ensemble, founded
by Pierre Amoyal. He plays solo violin in both works, and is joined by his
wife Yuko Shiizu Amoyal on the viola for the K364, and by Ami Oike on the
second violin for K190.
I enjoyed this CD very much. The musicians deliver in captivating
style with polished and focused playing. Amoyal and his fellow soloists
approach the works as dialogues, with the instruments interweaving and
blending with exquisite refinement. With buoyant tempi, Amoyal coaxes the
players to deliver results that are rhythmic and well-articulated. All the
while, there is the feeling of spontaneity.
With excellent liner-notes, and a contribution from Amoyal himself,
this is worth exploring. The Concertone definitely deserves wider
circulation as it is deeply rewarding.
The Salle de Musique provides a warm, sympathetic acoustic.