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Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Violin Concerto No. 1 in B flat major, K207 (1773) [21:26]
Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major, K216 (1775) [22:22]
Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major, K218 (1775) [24:38]
Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major ‘Turkish’, K219 (1775) [30:21]
Manoug Parikian (violin)
Orchestre des Concerts Colonne (1), Orchestra of the Philharmonic Society of Amsterdam (5), Hamburg Chamber Orchestra (3, 4)/Walter Goehr
rec. c.1957-58
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1641-42 [51:50 + 47:03]

Around 1957 Manoug Parikian, then relinquishing his position as leader of the Philharmonia Orchestra, embarked on a series of recordings with conductor Walter Goehr, himself a famously hard-working studio musician. They contracted with Musical Masterpiece Society to make a series of recordings of Mozart Concertos, omitting No.2, with three different orchestras. This was a somewhat over-complicated way to go about things, in hindsight, but at least only two discs were involved, and it gave orchestras in Amsterdam, Paris and Hambourg some well-earned income. It also reinforced Parikian’s credentials as a soloist.

He proves a laudable Mozartian, with the violin quite forwardly balanced. In the First Concerto he is both appositely expressive and athletic, playing the slow movement with great sensitivity, alert to the music’s dynamic crests and falls, reserving optimum buoyancy for the finale. He has the gift of absorbing both the masculine and feminine elements in this music, neither overbalancing the other. Thus, he remains unmannered in the G major, flecking the line, it’s true, with quick burnishing portamenti but not resorting to glutinous devices to project expressive identification with the music.

His approach strikes me as not too dissimilar interpretatively to that of Szigeti, though tonally dissimilar, of course; there’s a similar approach to phraseology, tight trills, and Parikian evinces a fine rapport with Goehr. And he is a sensitive, direct Mozart soloist, proving nicely relaxed in the finale of the D major. As for the Turkish, here the maturity of Parikian’s approach proves notably successful. His lyricism, rubati and avoidance of debonair affectation ensure lively, athletic, focused and tonally centred musicianship. The Janissary elements in the finale are certainly not exaggerated but they are well characterized. In all Goehr proves an adroit accompanist even if the orchestras are not ideally expert.

There are no notes, as usual from this label, but the LPs have been finely transferred onto the two CDs. This is an enjoyable souvenir of Parikian’s skillful eloquence as a soloist.

Jonathan Woolf

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