What in the world are these works doing on the same disc? Aside from the fact that the composers share the same unusual middle name -- Amadeus -- and all the works but one feature the violinist, what binds this program together? In a phrase, joi de vivre. All of these works together make the listener feel good to be alive. But how can that be? The program opens with Amadeus Mozart's Fourth Violin Concerto in D major, closes with his Eighth Symphony in the same key, and centers on Karl Amadeus Hartmann's Suite No. 2 for solo violin and his Concerto funèbre, the latter one of the darkest violin concertos this side of Alban Berg's. So how do they fit together? Through joi de vivre: violinist Suyoen Kim clearly loves every note of the Mozart concerto -- she treats them with such tenderly affectionate care -- as much as she loves the ironic humor of Hartmann's solo suite and the emotional gravitas of Hartmann's Concerto funèbre and she brings to them all a strong, deep tone and a powerfully dedicated technique. Conductor Pietari Inkinen and the Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie is musically and emotionally behind Kim every measure of the way -- except, of course, in the solo suite where they're silent -- and their performance of Mozart's Eighth is irresistibly joyful and ineluctably life-affirming, even after -- or perhaps because of -- the Concerto funèbre that comes just before it. Oehms' sound is rich and full.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major, K. 218|
|Suite for solo violin No. 2|
|Concerto Funebre for violin & string orchestra|
|Symphony No. 8 in D major, K. 48|