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Mendelssohn – Violin Concerto Piano Trios Nos. 1 & 2 (Kavakos) [2009]

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Mendelssohn – Violin Concerto Piano Trios Nos. 1 & 2 (Kavakos) [2009]

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Concerto For Violin And Orchestra E Minor, Op. 64
1-1 	I. Allegro Molto Appassionato 	13:02
2-2 	II. Andante 	9:18
3-3 	III. Allegro Molto Vivace 	5:45

Piano Trio No. 1 D Minor, Op. 49 
4-1 	I. Molto Allegro Agitato 	9:11
5-2 	II. Andante Con Moto Tranquillo 	7:06
6-3 	III. Scherzo. Leggiero E Vivace 	3:30
7-4 	IV. Finale. Allegro Assai Appassionato 	8:04

Piano Trio No. 2 C Minor, Op. 66 
8-5 	I. Allegro Energico Con Fuoco 	9:58
9-6 	II. Andante Espressivo 	7:05
10-7 	III. Scherzo. Molto Allegro Quasi Presto 	3:28
11-8 	IV. Finale. Allegro Appassionato 	7:18

Camerata Salzburg (tracks 1-3)
Violin, Conductor – Leonidas Kavakos (1-3)

Piano – Enrico Pace (tracks: 4-11)
Violin – Leonidas Kavakos (tracks: 4-11)
Cello – Patrick Demenga (tracks: 4-11)

 

On the heels of his successful recording of the five Mozart violin concertos, violinist and conductor Leonidas Kavakos returns with the works of a composer with whom Mozart shared many life circumstances: Felix Mendelssohn. While Mendelssohn's contributions to the violin repertoire were far fewer in number, the influence of the E minor Concerto in particular cannot be understated. Emerging as one of the most important concertos of the Romantic era, the E minor Concerto is a part of nearly every violinist's repertoire. Kavakos, who also directs the Camerata Salzburg, does everything he can to leave his own print on the piece without resorting to absurd tactics. The outer movements are played with extreme fire and vehemence while remaining under precise technical control; Kavakos also likes to add unexpected pauses and delays in resolution both in his own part to spice things up a bit. Apart from this, however, nothing truly new is being said here. It is a well-executed, enjoyable performance that is absolutely appropriate for listeners who lack a recording in their libraries. It should be noted that the first disc in this set is a mere 28 minutes in length, not even half of the disc's capacity. Perhaps Kavakos could have included the lesser known but equally enjoyable D minor concerto.

Disc 2 branches outside of the literature for solo violin and delves into chamber music; specifically, the two piano trios. Kavakos is joined by cellist Patrick Demenga and pianist Enrico Pace. Sound quality here is less clear and precise as it was in the concerto. This muddied quality makes it difficult to hear all of the intricate filigree taking place in the piano. Kavakos also seems to dominate his own part over his companions when all three play together. ---Mike D. Brownell, AllMusic Review

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