One of the most grown-up review sites around

51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Guillaume LEKEU

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Superior performance

Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem Thielemann

Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital

Arnold Bax
Be converted

this terrific disc

John Buckley
one of my major discoveries

François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3


Bryden Thomson


Vaughan Williams Concertos

RVW Orchestral


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-91)
Violin Concerto in G major, K216
Violin Concerto in D major, K218
Violin Concerto in A major, K219
Adagio in E, K261
Henning Kraggerud (violin & director)
Norwegian Chamber Orchestra
rec. Slottskirke, Akershus, Norway, 29 January 2015
NAXOS DVD 2.110368 [97:33]

A few decades ago, Norway could boast relatively few musicians of renown, such as the violinist Arve Tellefsen. Then, as the great violist Lars Anders Tomter explained to me once, the government started investing heavily in music education. Suddenly string players, pianists, singers and conductors were bustin’ out all over. Tomter himself, of course, Henning Kraggerud, the soloist on this excellent DVD, Leif Ove Andsnes and many others whose names will be familiar to readers. British government Philistines please take note.

Kraggerud is a very personable violinist and in addition is clearly an innovative and dedicated teacher. In a note in the booklet, he mentions that his lessons at the Barratt Due Institute in Oslo and our own RNCM in Manchester include ‘harmony, music history and analysis of scores’, as well as ‘dancing, singing, conducting, improvising and composing’. In this live concert in a pleasing brick church, we first encounter the tiny orchestra, led by Camilla Jjøll, before Kraggerud enters. He introduces each concerto in a friendly but informative style – the speeches are allotted separate chapters so that you need not listen to them more than once – and usually plays along with the first violins in the tuttis. Just once, in the Andante cantabile of K218, he conducts the opening bars.

Modern instruments are used and in all three opening tuttis, short notes are played very short, which imparts a slight feeling of brusqueness. I would say it was a habit picked up from period orchestras, except that it is not done in the period Mozart violin concerto performances known to me. Everything settles down and becomes more graceful, once Kraggerud starts playing as a soloist. He uses a few modest decorations in repeated material – more than a few in the Adagio of K216, which is very well played – and gives us his own longish yet interesting cadenzas in all three concertos. The Rondeau of K216 is taken quite speedily. The Allegro of K218 also seems fast. Kraggerud employs tiny nudges of portamento in the Andante cantabile, which I like, and shapes it very nicely. Again the Rondeau seems on the brisk side and his cadenza has a touch of Hardanger fiddle to it. Much the same pattern emerges in K219, with a rather fast Allegro aperto, lovely playing in the Adagio and a slightly graceless opening phrase in the Minuet-like Rondeau. As an encore we are given the Adagio in E, K261, which gives the flutes – otherwise active only in the Adagio of K216 – something more to do. It is beautifully played like all the slow movements here.

I must stress that the music-making is very vital throughout, with orchestral playing that is irreproachable apart from my reservation about occasional brusqueness; and anyone seeking a fresh view on these well-loved concertos ought to enjoy the performances. The impression of fast speeds was not entirely borne out when I made some comparisons with Franco Gulli (Claves). It is a strange business, this awareness of tempo: Gulli is not significantly slower, yet he seems to have more space in which to be gracious. The sound on the new DVD seems excellent. I assume that the audio CD (Naxos 8.573513 - review) contains performances recorded under studio conditions around the same time. Readers may like to know that I recently bought myself the new disc on which Tomter and Jan Bjøranger play the Sinfonia concertante in E flat, K364, with another little Norwegian ensemble called 1B1 (Simax PSC1351). It is Tomter’s second recording of this work and I found it very enjoyable. The coupling is Haydn’s C major Cello Concerto, played by Clemens Hagen with cadenzas by Henning Kraggerud! At the risk of seeming greedy, I would also like to see and/or hear Tomter teamed with Kraggerud in K364.

Tully Potter



We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

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

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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