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Playing Mozart on the violin

Our understanding of playing Mozart on the violin is mainly influenced by the Salzburg tradition of performing Mozart. Between 1960 and 1990 Bernhard Paumgartner and Sandor Vegh conducted the Camerata Academica and gave regular concerts, during the "Mozart-week" in January or during the Salzburg Festival. ( "Matineen" ). They set the typical style and tradition of their own and of our time. (Benjamin Schmid received the "Bernhard Paumgartner Medal") Mozart is the problem as such in classical music:

"Thomas Zehetmayr and Malcolm Frager come closest to my ideal".

His works express a trinity of technical skill, mental (or structural) depth and emotion in the ideal way. To match this perfection is one of the most difficult tasks for a performer. Satisfaction is thus rarely experienced in Mozart concerts.
We therefore should consider every Mozart interpretation an approximation.
Only a few musicians achieve this ideal; examples being Elisabeth Schwarzkopf or Friedrich Gulda. In this light, the judgment of the existing recordings of the violin sonatas of Mozart is a very difficult task. In the opinion of Benjamin Schmid the recording of all sonatas by Szymon Goldberg and Radu Lupu cannot be considered an optimal solution. Very close to the ideal approach is the recording of Arthur Grumiaux and Clara Haskil. The playing of Henryk Szeryng and Ingrid Haebler lacks effortlessness but is nobler.Two musicians have come very close to the ideal interpretation in their recording:
Thomas Zehetmayr and Malcolm Frager.

© Andromeda. Last modified: 02.24.2012