Mozart: Violin Concertos KV 207, KV 211 & KV 219 'Turkish'. Francesca Dego. © 2022 Chandos Records Ltd

CD Spotlight

Exceptional Performances

GERALD FENECH listens to Mozart from Francesca Dego, Roger Norrington and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra

'Francesca Dego is an impassioned virtuoso, and her renditions are not only emotionally alive but also full of beguiling warmth and charm ...'


Born in Salzburg on 27 January 1756, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is considered as the most extraordinary composer of all time, and a foremost master of the music entertainment during the Classical era. His output is miraculous both in quality and quantity; no surprise there as, aged three, he was already scribbling down his musical ideas. Indeed, the young boy was quickly recognised as a child prodigy, and his father Leopold very soon became aware of his son's immense gifts. The father lost no time in grabbing the opportunity for fame, and Amadeus was playing the violin and piano in no time.

Throughout his youth, Amadeus and his family went on multiple tours in many European cities, where the young genius simply pulverised his audiences with his amazing capabilities, both as performer and composer. As he grew Mozart relocated to Vienna and became a household name. He died abandoned by all on 6 December 1791 and was buried in a pauper's grave.

Mozart was a true master when it came to writing beautiful and elegant pieces. Besides his twenty-two operas, forty-one symphonies, twenty-seven piano concertos and twenty-three string quartets, not to mention dozens of cassations, divertimenti, sonatas and masses, Mozart composed five violin concertos that are among the best examples in the genre. They flow exuberantly in easy major keys, exuding abundant graceful melody, often in place of development of existing themes, and demanding refined rather than show-off virtuosity – traits that make them classics of the elegant but somewhat shallow fashion known as the 'stil galant'.

Although not completely certain, it is believed that Mozart composed all five of his violin concertos during his time in Salzburg in 1775. However, formal analysis of Mozart's handwriting displays that the first concerto may have been completed on 14 April 1773. Furthermore, it is assumed that the composer wrote all five concertos for himself as the concert master of the Archbishop of Salzburg.

Following their critically acclaimed first volume of these works (CHANDOS 20234), Francesca Dego and Sir Roger Norrington complete the set, ably supported once again by a reduced Royal Scottish National Orchestra. The cycle not only represents the first time Sir Roger has recorded these concerts, but the present album is also his final recording project.

Listen — Mozart: Allegro moderato (Violin Concerto K 207)
(CHAN 20263 track 1, 0:50-1:39) ℗ 2022 Chandos Records Ltd :

All five concertos were written before Mozart was twenty, nevertheless, his rapid development as a composer is evident in the progression from the first to the fifth, which has an unusual Adagio within the first movement, an extensive slow movement and the famous extensive 'Turkish' episode in the final movement.

Listen — Mozart: Rondeau (Violin Concerto K 219)
(CHAN 20263 track 9, 5:31-6:27) ℗ 2022 Chandos Records Ltd :

These are exceptional performances in which Sir Roger is able to demonstrate Mozart's flowering maturity with unblemished clarity. Francesca Dego is an impassioned virtuoso, and her renditions are not only emotionally alive but also full of beguiling warmth and charm that bring out all of Mozart's mesmerizing harmonic invention.

Listen — Mozart: Andante (Violin Concerto K 211)
(CHAN 20263 track 5, 5:08-6:06) ℗ 2022 Chandos Records Ltd :

This is a superb issue, gloriously annotated and recorded, that brings to an end not only a splendid cycle, but also an unforgettable recording career of one of music's most charismatic conductors. Do not hesitate to add to your collection.

Copyright © 3 September 2022 Gerald Fenech,
Gzira, Malta









 << Home              Next review >>