Norwegian violinist Vilde Frang made her orchestral debut to great acclaim at the age of just 13, with the Oslo Philharmonic and Mariss Jansons. On that occasion, she chose Sarasate's Carmen Fantasia, and in the fifteen years that have followed she has taken on the great Romantic and moderns, the Nordics and Russians: Sibelius and Prokofiev concertos for her debut album, followed by Tchaikovsky and Nielsen.
Now, at 28, this young but serious star violinist at last commits Mozart concertos to disc, in lively, intimate readings with English chamber orchestra Arcangelo, led by Jonathan Cohen.
The impetus for this album was a 2012 orchestral tour of Asia conducted by Cohen in which Vilde Frang performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5. The vibrancy of their musical collaboration was something both artists were keen to repeat and commit to disc.
Jonathan Cohen writes: “This was an important project for us to do with Vilde. Her poetic and sensitive playing and her beautiful silvery sound really serves Mozart and she was looking to collaborate with an ensemble such as ours well versed in the style and culture of Viennese classicism."
As complement to Mozart's First and Fifth Violin Concertos, Frang chose the beloved Sinfonia Concertante, enlisting Ukrainian viola virtuoso Maxim Rysanov as her duo partner.
"She and Maxim I think have produced a very special Sinfonia Concertante, which is a particularly extraordinary composition," says Cohen.
The album has already been praised for the lightness and warmth, elegance and playfulness of the dialogue between soloist and ensemble. "The solo concertos are terrific. The First is often seen as slight, but Frang, with an endlessly varied palette of colours, delights in showing us how wrong we are," declares Sinfini Music. "She melds eloquently with the ensemble and manages to convey an artless simplicity."