The Strad Issue: January 2010
Musicians: Rut Ingólfsdóttir, Unnar Maria Ingólfsdóttir* (violin) Daði Kolbeinsson (oboe) Reykjavik Chamber Orchestra
Composer: Bach

Rut Ingólfsdóttir plays all Bach’s concertos with an elegant, sweet tone, her vibrato, while understated, hanging in the air in this somewhat reverberant acoustic. There is a minimum of fuss in her performances, no exaggerated phrasing, no undue rubato. The playing is clear and impeccable, with an abundance of energy in the fast movements: the Allegro Assai finale of the E major Concerto cracks along famously. The slow movements are creamy and languid, spacious but always with a sense of movement.

There is a seductiveness to the Adagio of the Violin and Oboe Concerto, an easy interweaving of lines between Ingólfsdóttir and oboist Daði Kolbeinsson (previously known, according to the booklet, as Duncan Cambell), and the two Ingólfsdóttirs follow each other gracefully through the Largo ma non tanto of the Double Violin Concerto while the minimal forces of the Reykjavik Chamber Orchestra pulse elegantly beneath. In short, this is a fine performance by all concerned, polished and tasteful, with an awareness of period style in the shaping and articulation underpinning the rich exterior. But these readings, for all their accomplishment, are oddly anonymous, and it is hard to see why this CD needed to be added to a catalogue already crowded with the same repertoire.

Tim Homfray