[ Harmonia Mundi / CD ]
Release Date: Friday 25 August 2017
After the mystical Hebrides Overture and the masterly 'Reformation' Symphony, Mendelssohn embarked on his second violin concerto. After a long gestation in which he polished the orchestration and meticulously revised the solo part, the work was finally premiered in Leipzig in 1845. From David to Joachim, several virtuosos honed the violin part with the composer over successive revivals, leaving posterity traces of their playing style: fingerings, bowings, performance marks. This precious heritage has been scrutinised here for previously unexploited expressive resources. Isabelle Faust, accompanied by the Freiburger Barockorchester in top form under the direction of Pablo Heras-Casado, offers us a miracle of purity and lyricism in this freshly minted interpretation that fulfils Mendelssohn's promise of 'a concerto to make the angels rejoice in heaven'!
"[Faust] takes the radical decision to perform the work as scholars now think mid-19th-century violinists would have done: with minimal vibrato, but lots of slides between the notes and very different bowings, making the piece sound far spikier and febrile than the suavely efficient readings one usually hears today. Some may think her tone is too parched; I loved it." The Times
"[Faust's] playing throughout is remarkable not only for the expected attributes of fidelity and accuracy but for the tough, wild and impassioned qualities she restores to a piece which easily falls prone to white-dress, sugar-and-spice performances." Gramophone
"Violin Concerto op.64 E Minor / e-Moll / mi mineur"
1. I.Allegro molto appassionnato
2. II. Andante - Allegro non troppo
3. III. Allegro molto vivace
4. Die Hebriden Konzert [The Hebrides] Ouverture op. 26
Symphonie d-moll Nr. 5 op. 107 "Reformations-Symphonie"
5. Andante - Allegro con fuoco
6. II. Allegro vivace
7. III. Andante
8. IV. Choral : Ein feste Burg. Andante con moto - Alldegro vivace - Allegro maestoso