The Strad Issue: January 2009
Musicians: Philippe Quint (violin) Mineria Symphony Orchestra/Carlos Miguel Prieto
Composer: Korngold

Although released at the same time as Nikolaj Znaider’s high-powered coupling of Korngold’s Hollywood-imbued Violin Concerto with the Brahms (reviewed last month), Philippe Quint’s account is more than just a budget-priced also-ran. From the gentle portamentos of his opening phrases, he sounds completely inside the music, which means he can indulge in a fair degree of rubato, a flexibility of rhythm and movement that is fully in keeping with the style. His tone is sweet, but not cloyingly so, and he finds just the right colouring for the big Romantic melodies; he also displays nimbleness in the race towards the finish in the concerto’s Finale. Quint is ideally centred in the sound picture.

For all the qualities of this Mexican orchestra – and it has plenty of bite and colour – it is no Vienna Philharmonic (Znaider’s partner), though it brings enthusiasm to the precocious Schauspiel Overture and some nippy playing to the incidental music to Much Ado About Nothing.

Matthew Rye