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4.7 out of 5 stars
42
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£8.64+ £1.26 shipping


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on 11 June 2017
This double CD contains the five Mozart Violin Concertos together with the great Sinfonia Concertante.Recorded between 1961 and 1964 by Arthur Grumiaux with the LSO conducted by Colin Davis.In K364 Grumiaux is joined by viola player Arrigo Pellicia.
These recordings are top recommendations with every good reason.The sound is very good despite its age.
The playing by Grumiaux is as good as it gets and he is well matched by Pellicia in K364.
I just don't feel the performance of this great work quite matches those in the early concertos and I will continue searching for the great Sinfonia Concertante. I have tried other alternatives and not been impressed so far, so the search for the great K364 continues!
However, this performance is very good so I shall keep playing it until I find a definitive version. It is one of my very favourite Mozart works. I rate it as highly as that!
This double CD is very generous with a playing time of over 2 1/2 hours and is a strong recommendation,particularly for the 5 Violin Concertos.
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on 26 February 2017
Every thing I expected for these brilliant works in terms of warmth, space and humanity
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on 14 June 2016
Terrific recording.
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on 22 July 2009
I was looking for a complete set of Mozart's Violin Concertos and bought these CDs entirely on the strength of the previous 4 reviews. I'm absolutely delighted with the CDs - so a big thank you to the other reviewers - their comments are absolutely spot on and I've nothing to add other than to say "buy with confidence, you won't be disappointed"
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This generous (153-min) 2-CD Philips Duo recording, with its characteristically warm, natural acoustic, would be worth its price if only for the time-stopping Andante of the famous Sinfonia Concertante, a movement which is so unutterably lovely as to beggar belief. When Mozart`s music is this perfect, this ineffably glorious, not only does time seem to pause but the listener forgets in what era the music was composed, such is its fresh-as-new-paint timeless quality.
Arthur Grumiaux was a Belgian violinist who died in 1986 at the age of 65, and is too often sidelined when the greatest violinists are talked about. His tone here, as on all the Mozart and Bach recordings I have featuring this fine musician, is pure, sweet but never sentimental, and as musical as you could wish. It is often as though Mozart is in the room with you - which, in essence, he is.
His cohort here, on the K.364, is violist Arrigo Pellicia, who plays like a dream too.
Mozart was a seasoned, well-travelled composer at the grand old age of nineteen when he produced his five violin concertos, and what a lucky world we are for having them, even luckier that we have them in such luminous performances as here. I`m a sucker for a slow movement - it can often be where a composer exposes his or her heart, after all - and the Adagios and Andantes of these sparkling, youthful concerti are very lovely indeed, played with restrained passion and just the right level of empathy by Grumiaux. Hear how his warm, secure tone buoyed up by the LSO under Colin Davis is swept up by the swell of the orchestra nearly four minutes into the Adagio of the 5th concerto. Difficult to believe Mozart didn`t weep as he wrote it, and it`s the more moving for being so inevitable, so `right`.
For good measure a stray Adagio and Rondo round off the first disc, and they are as wonderful as anything else on this album of treasures.
The recordings of these works are from the `60s and, far from showing signs of wear, sound as if they were recorded yesterday.
I used to have ambivalent feelings towards the Salzburg boy-wonder (as a surprising number do) but I now think there was and is nobody to touch him. It is as though all music, before or since 1800, merges in him. It`s all there. When he composed most of the pieces on these two discs he was virtually still a boy. One can only listen to the outpourings of his great heart, at whatever age, marvel and be grateful.
The Philips Duo series is one of the essential products of the CD age, and this is one of the jewels in its crown.
As I say, timeless.
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on 16 March 2017
Good quality and sounds great
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on 24 February 2017
Arrived in good time, top quality
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on 21 June 2010
S Murphy is correct - BUY. You can do a lot worse than buy this in a bargain threesome with the Bach violin partitas and sonatas, also played by Grumiaux. I just bought some new speakers and CD2 of this set was the fist thing I played - luminous, shimmering, brilliant music. .
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on 1 August 2013
The playing on these two discs is simply superb, but it is recorded very "close up" (though with good balance between orchestra and soloist). With my Bose setup, I had to cut the volume down ten notches below my usual listening level to get a nice natural sound (from 59 to 49, for my headphones). Some listeners might feel that the orchestral image is still too "rich," and it's true that this isn't "original instrument" scale -- but Davis's tempos are so apt, and his attention to details of dynamics and texture are so evident, that I wasn't bothered by that. Davis was doing some superb work in the 1960's and 1970's in the opera house and with soloists like Grumiaux and Kovacevich, and this recording is evidence of it. The five violin concertos, all written before Mozart was 20, are lovely and graceful works, with a vein of expressiveness in Nos. 3 and 4 that prefigures the great piano concertos and symphonies to come. Grumiaux and Davis play them perfectly, in my judgment: they are not over-romanticized in phrasing for all the relatively big orchestral scale, and Grumiaux's tone is lovely but never cloying, and he plays with great rhythmic judgment throughout. Some of the cadenzas are his own; others are by Ysaye and Joachim -- all are apt. The greatest piece here is the longer and more ambitious Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola (K.364), with the violist Arrigo Pelliccia. It was composed about four years after the solo concertos, and it has a depth of expression beyond the violin works and more substantive development of the thematic material in the first two movements. It is hauntingly performed here.

The only concerto recordings that are as fine (or maybe better) than these are Francescatti's accounts of Nos. 3 and 4 with Bruno Walter -- one of the truly great Mozart recordings. One might quibble and call them too "romantic" but I wouldn't. Grumiaux is in that league.
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Previous reviewers have remarked upon the perversity of releasing the newer "Philips 50" issue of the five Mozart Violin Concertos without the original extras you get here - the Adagio, the Rondo and a glorious Sinfonia Concertante - but with the addition of two sonatas with Clara Haskill and at a higher price, Nothing wrong with those sonatas, of course - far from it - but for most collectors this original 1993 package is considerably more attractive; the K.364 in particular is not one you'd want to miss.

The sound was always superb, especially for recordings half a century old, and all Grumiaux's trademark skills are much in evidence: purity and precision of line, ineffably sweet tone and impeccable intonation; rare finesse and subtlety of judgement in his phrasing and accents; no wonder he is so many people's favourite violinist in Mozart. I love the lushness of Anne-Sophie Mutter's recording of these youthful works of genius - the first concerto written as early as 1773, when Mozart was seventeen years old and the K.364 written as his first mature masterpiece when he was still only 23 - but for classical poise and restraint Grumiaux is the man. He is ably accompanied by Colin Davis with the LSO (and Raymond Leppard with the New Philharmonia in the Adagio and Rondo) in light-textured, neatly sprung style.

There's not much else to say: sample the famous Adagio from K.216 to get the flavour of these performances or try the opening movement of K.4364 in which the instruments Grumiaux and violist Arrigo Pellicia entwine, dance and echo each other with the almost erotic intensity of two courting songbirds; what lovely music this is and how beautifully it is played here.
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