Mozart: Sinfonia concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra (K. 364), Duo for Violin and Viola (K. 423) – David and Igor Oistrakh and the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Kyrill Kondrashin
“Now I am going to compose a Sinfonia concertante”, wrote Mozart to his father, quite unsuspecting that his contribution to this hybrid of concerto and symphony would not bring the immediate approval and success to which he was accustomed. But opinions have changed drastically since then, especially since the Sinfonia concertante K. 364 has far greater depth to it than its title suggests. The wealth of melodic ideas, subtly allotted alternately to the soloist and the orchestra, testifies to the fact that this is one of Mozart’s mature orchestral masterpieces which he composed while in Vienna.
The superb performers in this DECCA recording guarantee that the listener will not only enjoy the deceptive merriment of the outer movements but will be deeply moved by the sad Andante. What bad luck for rival performances! But when father and son take up their bows, this is the recording to beat all recordings!
On the B side, the Duo for Violin and Viola, K. 423 is a welcome bonus since it offers a wonderful opportunity for a display of virtuosity and counterpoint. And of course the old question pops up once again as to who is the better master of his instrument: father or son? The answer is simple: neither the one nor the other! – Both, of course!
Recording: September 1963 at DECCA Studio No. 3 in West Hampstead, London by Kenneth Wilkinson / Production: Erik Smith und Ray Minshull