The Strad Issue: January 2012
Description: A revitalising take on a classic concerto coupling
Musicians: Philippe Quint (violin) Orquesta Sinfónica de Mineria/Carlos Miguel Prieto
Composer: Bruch, Mendelssohn, Beethoven

Bruch’s G minor Concerto cries out for espressivo intensity and Philippe Quint delivers it in spades. Like Isaac Stern in his white-hot account with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Eugene Ormandy (CBS/Sony), Quint lives and breathes every phrase with a heart-rending sincerity that fully captures the emotion of the moment. Time and again one is reminded that it is what goes on between the notes that is so vitally important in this most urgently spontaneous of all the great Romantic violin concertos.

The Mendelssohn E minor is a very different kind of work, one in which tonal purity is paramount, coloured by the gentlest of interpretative inflections, so as to create a tantalising fusion of virtuoso brilliance and emotional imperativeness. Quint is once again in his element here, magicking well-worn phrases as though he is discovering their special quality for the first time, culminating in a sparkling account of the finale reminiscent of the great Nathan Milstein.

Beethoven’s two romances can sound interminable in the wrong hands, but Quint makes them sound like two of the most cherishable miniatures in the repertoire, accompanied devotedly throughout by Carlos Miguel Prieto in commendably natural sound. The accompanying 25-minute DVD documentary goes behind the scenes and gives us a chance to see these gifted musicians in action.