The Strad Issue: January 2011
Musicians: Mirijam Contzen (violin) Bavarian Chamber Philharmonic/Reinhard Goebel
Composer: Linley, Lamottem, Hasse, Rauzzini, Mozart

The focal works in this full concert programme, based on Mozart’s learning experiences in Italy, are the violin concertos of Thomas Linley and Franz Lamotte. Mirijam Contzen, Reinhard Goebel and the orchestra bring both works fully to life with refined and resilient playing, even though the gruel is fairly thin. Some of the solo figuration in the first movement of Linley’s work stretches the accuracy of Contzen’s technical equipment and occasionally finds her wanting, but she revels in this movement’s expressive contrasts and contributes a brief, melodically pertinent cadenza.

She adds some tasteful extempore ornamentation in the central Adagio and overcomes with consummate ease the testing high-tessitura passagework in the final Rondeau. Similarly, her rich-toned account of Lamotte’s Second Violin Concerto combines gracefulness, dexterity and stylistic sensibility with remarkable poise and sensitivity to detail. The resonant recording affects adversely the articulative clarity of the orchestra’s alert contribution but preserves a satisfactory balance.