The world might not need another version of Mozart’s various violin concerti, but Vilde Frang’s latest recording makes a good case. Her playing brims with energy, and she has found faultless partners in British period ensemble Arcangelo, ably conducted by Jonathan Cohen.
The disc opens with the lesser-recorded First Concerto, which is sometimes dismissed as a lighter work. Frang exploits this, embodying the youthful vitality of the dancing, twirling, solo violin part. After this tasteful entrée, the disc moves on to the richer Concerto No 5 (The Turkish). Here Frang has a bit more opportunity to show her range, including a bit of grunt in the lower register. She plays with a lithe, graceful sound, and utilises the full palate of tonal colours throughout. Arcangelo and their resourceful conductor encourage her in every musical decision, proving to be fully match-fit partners themselves.
The final inclusion is a stunning interpretation of the Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola, with violist Maxim Rysanov. The Andante movement was particularly beautiful, with all voices knowing when to accompany or shine. In fact, it’s this point that makes Frang such a stylish player. Her knowledge of when to pull back allows others to shine in this ‘soloist’ music, and at no point does she overreach or force her sound. She lets the simplicity of Mozart speak for itself, and in doing so, sounds simply superb.