Henryk Szeryng / Alexander Gibson

Mozart: Violin Concertos

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There have been more than a few great recordings of Mozart's complete concertos for violin and orchestra, but it was Henryk Szeryng's late-'60s recordings with Alexander Gibson leading the New Philharmonia that Philips chose to release as part of its complete Mozart cycle of 1991 and which Musical Heritage Society has reissued here. Szeryng's noble tone, flawless technique, and eloquent expressivity are wonderfully well-suited to Mozart's youthful concertos, and his lyrical yet playful interpretations touch the elegant impetuosity at the heart of the music. In addition to the concertos, Szeryng also recorded lovely and committed performances of Mozart's less often played works for violin and orchestra -- the Adagio K. 261 and the Rondos K. 269 and K. 373 -- plus his Concertone for two violins and orchestra, and even the dubious Concerto K. 271a. Some might wish for more in the way of support from Gibson and his London musicians, who seem to be going through the motions more often than not. But given the quality of the soloist and the quantity of the repertoire here, listeners looking for a single set including all the Mozart violin and orchestra works need look no further. Philips late-'60s stereo sound is absolutely translucent and immediate.

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