Andrew Manze / The English Concert

Mozart: 3 Violin Concertos

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Some say it's violinist Andrew Manze's tone that makes him distinctive, that there's a sweetness to his non-vibrato swells and a strength to his flexible bowing that make his playing so attractive. Some say it's Manze's phrasing that makes him distinctive, that there's a lyrical quality to his line and a molded quality to his dynamics that make his playing so appealing. Some say it's Manze's interpretation that makes him so distinctive, that there's a combination of fantasy, intensity, and effortless virtuosity that make his performances so persuasive. Some say it's all these things at once and this 2006 disc of the last three of Mozart's five violin concertos is the proof. For those who find Manze's distinctive playing attractive, appealing, and persuasive, his performances here as soloist and director of the English Consort will be equally convincing. The sweet tone of his line suits the G major Concerto's central Adagio. The lyrical intensity of his fantasy fits the D major Concerto's closing Rondeau Andante grazioso. The molded flexibility of his virtuosity matches the A major Concerto's opening Allegro aperto. The English Consort is light, lean, and wholly as one with Manze's direction. Harmonia Mundi's sound is essentially transparent and without blemish.

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