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Israel Philharmonic Orchestra / Zubin Mehta / Shlomo Mintz

Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole;
Vieuxtemps: Violin Concerto No. 5;
Saint-Saëns: Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso

A delightful collection of lightish French works for violin and orchestra, which tickle the ear and gladden the soul. Lightish to listen to, but a virtuoso minefield for the poor soloist, for behind the very attractive façade is a veritable smörgåsbord of technical difficulties. Virtuosi of Shlomo Mintz’s calibre take these things in their stride and make it all sound like child’s play. I am sure that sometimes they wish it were!

Lalo’s marvellous Symphonie Espagnole is given in the five movement version, and I feel that it works better this way, for the work is fuller and more attractive. From a performance point of view Mintz is in his element here, obviously enjoying the music and having a good time playing it.

'Mintz plays the piece with fine panache: his treatment of the gorgeous, lilting secondary theme of the first movement is tenderly seductive, while the Scherzo dances with a delicious feathery weightlessness, its lyrical strain enticingly Carmenesque. The habanera rhythms of the Intermezzo are certainly touched with G string voluptuousness but, again, there is an element of restraint, which shows the true artist not overplaying his hand' -Gramophone

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  • Seller location: Lower Hutt City, Wellington, NZ

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