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Discussion: Beethoven/Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos - Mullova/Gardiner

Posts: 11
Page: 1 2 next

Post by Sigfred June 17, 2007 (1 of 11)
Does anyone have an opinion on this SACD?

Post by Julien June 17, 2007 (2 of 11)
I have. Great recording quality!

The playing is very sensible, but not extraordinary in my opinion. I also miss the brilliance of some of the great, and a touch of genius. A bigger problem to my ears is that the violin is tuned a bit too low. For a soloist, tuning a bit too high wouldn't disturb as much (well known "trick" among players), but being too low adds to the lack of brilliance.

That being said, this is still highly recommandable globaly, and I wouldn't be surprised if only us players were disturbed.

Post by Sigfred June 17, 2007 (3 of 11)
Thanks Julien. I've now ordered the SACD.

Post by tommwi June 17, 2007 (4 of 11)
Julien said:

A bigger problem to my ears is that the violin is tuned a bit too low.

Mullova uses gut strings. The violin sounds warmer and in combination with her rather vibrato free approach, this recording fooled me. I had to read about it before I understood she uses gut strings. It was for the first time in her carer if I've got it right. I believe she must have tuned it up a bit, since the difference to the sound of normal synthetic strings isn't overwhelming.

Nevertheless the Beethoven here was a revelation for me. Being a fan of Mullova this was a mandatory buy, but I felt utterly disappointed of having to cope with Gardiner as a conductor. His previous Beethoven recordings are manifests of hard driven performances lacking in breath and imagination. Scholar performances out of touch with the special humanity Beethoven stands for. Well-at least what I can understand of it today.

But here is very little of that. The period band sounds sweeter, bigger and adds excitement in classical manner and in an unhurried way, while Mullova gets space and time to play both beautiful and with clear touches of romanticism. Such was my excitement of the Beethoven that I almost forgot about the Mendelssohn. Donít make the same mistake; by now I think it is even better! This recording is a nice blend of performing style and tradition, not pointing in one single direction.

And to Julians comment of magic - the whole second movement in Beethoven is pure magic with some special highlights in the moments where she seems to find inspiration from Bach. Utterly convincing!

/Tommy

Post by Arthur June 17, 2007 (5 of 11)
tommwi said:

Mullova uses gut strings. The violin sounds warmer and in combination with her rather vibrato free approach, this recording fooled me. I had to read about it before I understood she uses gut strings. It was for the first time in her carer if I've got it right. I believe she must have tuned it up a bit, since the difference to the sound of normal synthetic strings isn't overwhelming.

Nevertheless the Beethoven here was a revelation for me. Being a fan of Mullova this was a mandatory buy, but I felt utterly disappointed of having to cope with Gardiner as a conductor. His previous Beethoven recordings are manifests of hard driven performances lacking in breath and imagination. Scholar performances out of touch with the special humanity Beethoven stands for. Well-at least what I can understand of it today.

But here is very little of that. The period band sounds sweeter, bigger and adds excitement in classical manner and in an unhurried way, while Mullova gets space and time to play both beautiful and with clear touches of romanticism. Such was my excitement of the Beethoven that I almost forgot about the Mendelssohn. Donít make the same mistake; by now I think it is even better! This recording is a nice blend of performing style and tradition, not pointing in one single direction.

And to Julians comment of magic - the whole second movement in Beethoven is pure magic with some special highlights in the moments where she seems to find inspiration from Bach. Utterly convincing!

/Tommy

Tommy:

I couldn't agree more with your assessment. I also loved Mullova and had misgivings about Gardiner's Beethoven. I also found this to be a big step forward for him. I'm not so sure I'm as excited about Mullova's move into the period instrument camp although I loved this recording. I've tried to get behind both her Mozart and her Vivaldi, but just haven't found it approachable. She was always an understated intrepreter, but these leave me feeling downright cold. Maybe if they got the SACD treatment, they would feel warmer. (Another artist to write to if we campaign!)

Post by Peter June 17, 2007 (6 of 11)
In this recording, what's A=? I assume A isn't 440.

Post by Julien June 17, 2007 (7 of 11)
Peter said:

In this recording, what's A=? I assume A isn't 440.

I'll give it a listen tomorrow. I remember it sounded around 435hz to me.

Post by seth June 17, 2007 (8 of 11)
Julien said:

I'll give it a listen tomorrow. I remember it sounded around 435hz to me.

Gardiner has recorded other music from that period at 435, so I'm guessing it's probably true of this recording.

Post by Xav June 18, 2007 (9 of 11)
I think there's something not quite right about this recording in M/C - the rears don't seem to blend with the fronts properly.
It's not the greatest M/C recording I've heard, but I'm a fan of Gardiner and Mullova and musically I really like it.

Post by sunnydaler April 22, 2012 (10 of 11)
there's a sedate and patrician quality to Mullova's playing. It is her weakness and strength.

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